23-03-Electronic logging device exemption for livestock truckers
The BFO Board of Directors shares these concerns on Electronic Logging Devices (ELDs) for transporters regarding the potential impact on animal welfare while trying to comply with the Commercial Vehicle Drivers Hours of Service Regulations. The ELD issue has been front of mind both at the federal and provincial levels as we have met with various Members of Parliament (MP) and Members of Provincial Parliament (MPP) to express our concerns with the regulations. BFO has been an active member with the National Working Group – Animal Transport which also includes CCA, Ontario Livestock Transporters’ Alliance and other provincial and national organizations.
The working group has met with Transport Canada, AAFC and CFIA asking the federal government to create regulatory flexibility so that transporters can safeguard the welfare of the livestock being transported due to unforeseen delays during transport which cause drivers to go over duty hours. The working group has also asked Transport Canada to take immediate steps to harmonize Canadian live animal transport regulations with the U.S. legislation. This would include an exemption for livestock and insect haulers from hours- of-service regulations within a 150-air-mile radius from the origin and destination of the animals. This is an extremely beneficial exemption as it allows the drivers flexibility in delivering the animals to their destination in a timely and safe manner.
While the regulations are federal, enforcement is a provincial matter. BFO met with MPP Grewal, the Parliamentary Assistant to the Minister of Transportation and explained the grassroots impact these regulations will have on our sector. Following that meeting, BFO sent a letter to the Minister of Transportation, Caroline Mulroney outlining our concerns and requesting the immediate provision of strong guidance to all enforcement officers that clearly states that animal welfare issues are defined as ‘emergency situations’. We received a response from Minister Mulroney to our letter; both it and the letter we submitted are attached along with Regulation 555/06 (Hours of Service) which outlines the exemptions and regulatory flexibilities that are relevant to our sector.
The federal government has made it very clear that ELDs will not be exempt from truckers transporting livestock; however, through discussions with the government, they have suggested that the current regulations have enough flexibility within the emergency clauses to allow transporters to reach their final destination if they are within a reasonable distance. We are not encouraged by this answer as we would rather see guidance language within the hours-of-service emergency exemption clause to specifically address animal welfare. This would provide livestock transporters confidence that they are operating within the law.
BFO will continue to monitor this issue and push for more clear and distinct language around welfare to be included in the emergency exemption clauses.
To view the complete communications with the Ministry of Transportation and Minister Mulroney, please see the PDF copy of this response using the blue button below.