WASHINGTON – Livestock haulers received a one-year exemption from the Department of Transportation’s (DOT) hours of service requirement.

“The agency has determined that it is appropriate to grant a limited one-year exemption to ensure the well-being of the nation's livestock during interstate transportation by CMV,” the DOT's Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) announced.

Under the rule, all commercial motor vehicle (CMV) operators must take a 30-minute rest break for every eight hours of service. This requirement is in addition to all scheduled stops not including refueling and other breaks. The rule caused concern in the livestock industry about the welfare of animals transported during the summer months.

“This is great news for livestock producers and for the health of our herds,” said Bob McCan, president of the National Cattlemen's Beef Association. “As we come into summer, cattle producers have expressed concerns to the DOT that these rules would jeopardize the health and safety of our cattle. For over a year this has been a major priority for the NCBA and our members, but we will continue to urge DOT to make this exemption permanent. This exemption is a common-sense move that keeps our herds and our nation’s highways safe.”

The National Pork Producers Council submitted and exemption application to the FMCSA on behalf of livestock transporters.