OTTAWA, Ont. — New research has indicated that hogs that die while in transit, usually do so as a result of pre-existing heart conditions.
The Canadian Trucking Alliance (CTA) is now using the study as evidence livestock truckers shouldn’t be held accountable for all in-transit hog fatalities. Traditionally, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) has held transport providers responsible for the deaths of hogs while en route.
Drivers have been fined under the assumption that malpractice on their part – such as overloading or driving recklessly – is to blame for hog deaths in these instances. However, a study by the University of Guelph and the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, has largely disproved these beliefs, according to the CTA. The study ‘Investigating in-transit losses of market hogs,’ determined that in many cases, pre-existing conditions are to blame.
“This point has long since been an issue for those represented by the Livestock Transporter’s Division of the CTA, as many have emphatically insisted that they abide by industry best-practices and should not be held liable for these deaths, now we have the research to prove it,” said Stephen Laskowski, senior vice-president of the Canadian Trucking Alliance. “Based on this new research, CTA is requesting that CFIA review its enforcement policy regarding in-transit losses and hogs; unless CFIA can dispute these findings we see no reason why trucking companies should be paying these fines.”
Meanwhile, the CTA is also arguing that truckers shouldn’t be fined for missing livestock tags, which are the responsibility of the shipper to attach.
“It is the CTA’s position that because the transporter is in no way responsible for the tagging process, they should not be held liable for failures in this area, as is current practice,” said Laskowski. “It’s like fining a car owner for a vehicle manufacturer defect. Fines may need to be applied when lost tags occur, but apply them to the individual who’s behaviour can actually change the outcome.”
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