CTA supports livestock changes, but wants more

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OTTAWA, ON – The Canadian Trucking Alliance (CTA) is supporting the Canadian Food inspection Agency’s plans to modernize the rules for transporting livestock – but wonders why certain livestock truckers are excluded from key aspects of the rules.

“The proposed amendments limit the reach of some of the regulations to ‘commercial carriers,'” said Susan Ewart, CTA’s regional vice president – Saskatchewan. “As written, this would exclude from key training and record-keeping provisions producers and processors who claim ownership of the animals or poultry during transportation and do not charge a fee for transportation services. Further, CTA is concerned this could result in a competitive imbalance between for-hire carriers and private carriers from both operational and enforcement perspectives.”

The changes are outlined in proposed amendments to Part XII (Transport of Animals) to federal Health of Animals Regulations.

The CTA also wants consignors to declare whether any animals are compromised but still fit to move. “Provisions stipulating the actions a driver must take if an animal becomes compromised or unfit during transport could potentially result in unjust and unwarranted penalties being brought against the carrier and/or the driver,” the association says. “Such actions should only apply when a driver becomes knowledgeable about such changes in an animal’s condition.”

The alliance also questions why provisions which require a receiving party to be present when an animal arrives are not mandated when the transportation process begins – particularly since the animal’s condition at the final destination largely depends on the condition when they were first loaded.

Meanwhile, it welcomes the move to an “outcome-based” framework that exempts carriers from training requirements if necessary knowledge and skills are verified. “Existing rigid rules regarding segregation of animals have been replaced with outcome-based provisions in the proposed amendments,” CTA adds.

“In general, CTA supports efforts to strengthen the rules that govern the transportation of livestock in Canada, and understands and accepts that societal expectations regarding farmed animal welfare, which extends to transportation, is becoming more of a concern for Canadians,” said CTA policy analyst director Lak Shoan. “We support further clarifying expectations for all parties involved in livestock transportation, including those that load and unload livestock as part of the transportation process.”

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John G. Smith is the editorial director of Newcom Media's trucking and supply chain publications -- including Today's Trucking, trucknews.com, TruckTech, Transport Routier, and Road Today. The award-winning journalist has covered the trucking industry since 1995.

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