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Livestock Haulers Face Similar Issues Involving Cleanout Facilities

CALGARY, Alta. - Cleanout of livestock trucks -especially in the winter time -is a challenge for the trucking industry, according to Peggy Strankman, manager of environmental affairs with the Canadian...

CALGARY, Alta. –Cleanout of livestock trucks -especially in the winter time -is a challenge for the trucking industry, according to Peggy Strankman, manager of environmental affairs with the Canadian Cattlemen’s Association.

“There’s an ongoing challenge with truck cleanout in the winter, because it’s freezing,” she says of a problem that is not unlike the necessity for grain cleanout facilities.

For a variety of reasons, Strankman says more auction markets -like grain receivers – are refusing to allow livestock haulers to clean out their trailers at those facilities.

“It’s quite a dilemma for the truckers. Cattle producers want to see their cattle loaded on clean trucks. The producers buying the cattle don’t want them travelling in manure from other people’s cattle because of the possibility of disease transfer. We don’t sterilize the trucks, but it’s good to see the cattle starting a trip in a clean truck.”

Haulers normally provide bedding, such as straw or preferably wood shavings, she says, which helps absorb the moisture and improve footing. That bedding increases the volume by-product, which must then be cleaned out of the trucks.

“There are a number of challenges,” says Strankman, who adds the byproduct is recognized as having a certain amount of nutrients, which could possibly be utilized in supporting another enterprise.

Strankman notes there has been some discussion within the industry, about the potential for utilizing composting as the method to turn the manure and bedding from the trucks, into an easily spread soil additive.

“The challenge is to figure out where to locate these collection points, and if there is a way to make the processing economically viable. We try to think of manure as a byproduct, not as a waste, in order to utilize it, Strankman says.”

The CCA recognizes that cleanout is a challenge for truckers, and Strankman says that cleanout is regulated by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CIFA) under the Health of Animals Act regulation.

“We’ve been talking about ways to deal with it, but haven’t hit on the ideal solution yet. It’s a complex issue that needs input from all parts of the cattle value chain.”

It’s an ongoing problem for many Albert livestock haulers, including Rick Sincennes, who is concerned about unclean trailers, the cost of cleanout at private facilities, and the expense of the extra mileage (as high as $150) that cleanout often requires.

“I’ve talked to basically everybody about it, but nobody wants to do anything. Nobody wants to take the responsibility,” he says.

Sincennes believes that the CIFA should deal with the problem.

“There are a lot of plans in place where if certain diseases are found in our country, to completely halt the movement of livestock,”he says. “So it seems to me, they should be also somewhat interested in what’s happening in the cleanout.”

Considering the expense of travelling to a cleanout facility that specializes in manure, and the related fee, Sincennes is concerned that some drivers may consider the lease expensive, and more profitable delivery solution. “That might just be beside the road, because he has to get his trailer cleaned out.”

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