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Government Grants One Year Exemption from 30-Minute Break Requirement for Livestock

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Liza C. Moore
Foster Swift Agricultural Law News
August 21, 2014

Commercial motor vehicle drivers generally have to take a 30-minute break during the first eight hours of a shift, as part of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) Hours-of-Service rules. This break requirement does not apply to drivers transporting agricultural commodities, including livestock, within a 150 air-mile radius of the source of those commodities. But those livestock haulers to which the requirement does apply should be aware of an exemption granted by the FMCSA. Back in 2013, the FMCSA granted livestock haulers a 90-day waiver of the 30-minute break requirement for the summer months. The National Pork Producers Council, along with many other agriculture industry groups, requested this exemption because of the health risks posed by summertime heat to livestock. Requiring a truckload of livestock to stop in extreme temperatures could seriously jeopardize the health and welfare of the animals. The FMCSA noted there were “no adverse effects to safety” as a result of the 2013 exemption. In June 2014, the FMCSA granted a one-year exemption from the break requirement for livestock haulers.

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