Spanberger Stands Up for Central Virginia Livestock Producers, Joins Bipartisan Effort to Ease Trucking Regulations on Haulers

The Congresswoman Cites Concerns of Livestock Operators in Central Virginia; Last Month, She Heard Directly about ELD Rules from Operators in Amelia County

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S Representative Abigail Spanberger joined a bipartisan effort to delay implementation of electronic logging devices (ELDs) for commercial vehicles transporting livestock.

Last month, Spanberger heard directly from Central Virginia livestock producers about issues related to the ELD rules and potential impacts on their bottom lines, motorist safety, and the health of their livestock. After hearing concerns from livestock transporters that the new ELD rules could put their cargo at risk, she is working to ensure the economic security and safety of both farmers and transporters.

In a letter sent to key House Appropriations leaders, Spanberger and a bipartisan group of her colleagues outlined their support for a provision in the Transportation, Housing, and Urban Development (THUD) appropriations bill delaying implementation of ELDs for one-year and providing the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) time to make necessary adjustments to hours of service rules.

“Virginia livestock operators face unique challenges, especially when it comes to hauling their animals over long distances. To handle unpredictable factors like weather, traffic, and loading times, Virginia haulers need to have the necessary flexibility to transport their livestock safely and quickly,” said Spanberger. “This week, I joined a bipartisan push to delay ELD implementation for one-year. As I’ve met with our district’s farmers, cattlemen, and ag groups, it’s clear that this proposed delay would help lessen the regulatory burdens imposed on the livestock industry. Too often in Washington, the real impacts of one-size-fits-all regulations aren’t understood—and I’ll keep fighting to make sure our producers have a voice in decisions that directly impact their families, their communities, and the rural economy.”

This delay is supported by many agriculture organizations and commodity groups, including the Virginia Farm Bureau.

“Virginia Farm Bureau appreciates Congresswoman Spanberger’s support of a one-year delay on implementation of ELDs for livestock haulers. Livestock haulers have the unique and difficult task of ensuring both motorist safety and animal welfare when transporting animals,” said Ben Rowe, National Affairs Coordinator, Virginia Farm Bureau. “These responsibilities are taken seriously, but ELD regulations and hours of service complicate this situation by imposing fixed time and distance limits on livestock haulers, rather than allowing them to do what is best for the animals’ health. The proposed delay would lessen the burden on Virginia’s livestock industry as it awaits the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s determination on more workable ELD and hours of service regulations.”

In their letter, Spanberger and her colleagues advocated to give livestock producers and truckers the flexibility they need to carry out their jobs effectively and safely. Since current ELD regulations and hours of service rules complicate the task of balancing motorist safety and animal welfare, a one-year delay on ELD implementation would allow haulers time to adapt and address concerns, especially as the existing hours of service rules are reconsidered.

The bipartisan letter was led by U.S. Representatives Collin C. Peterson (D-MN-7) and Roger Marshall (R-KS-01). Click here to read the full letter.

Spanberger is a proud member of the House Agriculture Committee, where she serves as Chair of the House Agriculture Subcommittee on Conservation and Forestry. Spanberger also serves as a member of the Committee’s Commodity Exchanges, Energy, and Credit Subcommittee.

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