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ELD mandate causes confusion in equine industry

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The Electronic Logging Device (ELD) mandate, enforced by the Department of Transportation (DOT), impacts many livestock haulers. However, it impacts some livestock groups more than others. An American Horse Council (AHC) staff member says the mandate, pertaining to commercial motor vehicles involved in interstate commerce, does not affect the equine industry as much as it affects the cattle industry.

Cliff Williamson serves as director of health and regulatory affairs for the American Horse Council. Williamson talks about the direct impact the mandate has on the horse industry He also explains why the equine industry chose to join forces with other livestock groups in the fight for a year-long delay.

The Department of Transportation recently granted agricultural vehicles a 90-day delay from the mandate. Williamson says the delay provides time for additional educational efforts.

“They’re (horse haulers) not sure how they qualify for exemptions or what exemptions they qualify for. Transportation regulations are not something people traditionally think about. We are not use to the language and we’re confused by the way they laid things out. As an industry, this is a “first time we’re hearing of” epidemic, even though the rule has been in place since the late 80s, early 90s,” Williamson said.

The updated Electronic Logging Device (ELD) mandate, coupled with the Hours of Service rule, will impact those who are hauling horses commercially, in larger vehicles. Williamson says horse transportation services such as Brook Ledge and J.R. Hudson are great examples of horse haulers impacted by the mandate.

Williamson believes other agricultural groups will be see greater impact. He adds AHC will help those groups obtain a year-long waiver.

“We would certainly like the Department of Transportation to give the full, year-long delay. Not only for our ability to clarify with our membership, but as a member of the greater livestock industry,” Williamson said. “Other sectors are being impacted more directly because of their nature. We’re joining forces to push for that full year delay and any other delays that might come up in the future.”