In response to an exemption application filed by a coalition of livestock transporters, including the U.S. Poultry & Egg Association (USPOULTRY), the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has granted a limited one-year exemption from the 30-minute break provision contained in the agency’s Hours of Service regulations which were revised in 2011. The ruling grants a one-year exemption from the 30-minute break requirement during the first eight hours of a shift for drivers hauling poultry and livestock.
“The poultry and egg industry appreciates FMCSA recognizing the unique risks incurred when hauling live animals in extreme weather conditions and the potentially devastating impact on the animals if forced to sit in trailers while a driver takes a mandatory 30-minute rest break,” said John Starkey, USPOULTRY president. “While many poultry transport operations were already exempt from the 30 minute rest break requirement due to the short haul exception in the existing regulation, this ruling reduces the possibility of animals being harmed in those situations the short haul exception does not apply. We will request that FMCSA use this year to further evaluate the rest break requirement and make the exemption permanent for livestock haulers."