USDA reverses long-haul livestock rule

| 10/2/2006

Truckers who haul livestock now face a new limit on how long they can keep the animals on board.

In response to legal actions by the Humane Society and other groups, the U.S. Department of Agriculture has announced that farm animals can only be on a truck for 28 hours.

After the 28 hours is up, the animals must be off-loaded and provided with food, water and at least five hours of rest.

In the past, the so-called “28-hour rule” has only applied to trains. But USDA Spokesman Jim Rogers told “Land Line Now” on XM Satellite Radio that the agency has now publicly issued a new interpretation, which does apply to trucks.

“The term ‘vehicle’ in the regulation that applies here means vehicle,” Rogers said. “It could be a train, it could be a truck, or some sort of transport – it applies. Whereas before, when the law was originally written … it specifically applied to rail cars.”

Rogers said some employees of the USDA were told three years ago that the 28-hour rule applied to trucks, but that the agency only recently made that fact public.

– By Reed Black, staff writer