Issues like driver training and the driver shortage are even more acute when considering livestock transport in Canada, while the implementation of electronic logging devices (ELDs) can lead to improved animal safety and animal welfare on our highways, Canadian Trucking Alliance president Stephen Laskowski and Lak Shoan, director, policy and industry awareness programs, told the House of Commons Standing Committee on Agriculture and Agri-Food today.
While actual hours of service rules will not change when ELDs become mandatory, the use of ELDs merely represents a more effective and efficient manner of recording commercial drivers’ duty statuses – an important development when considering driver fatigue and the welfare of livestock during transport, says Shoan.
Continual consolidation of the Canadian agriculture sector has contributed to an increase in the distance animals are transported to reach production points. Laskowski stressed the need for additional rest areas across the country. With changes that decrease the maximum amount of time that animals can be confined on conveyances without feed and safe water, existing feed and rest stations, particularly near Thunder Bay, may no longer be adequate to service carriers that transport animals from Ontario to western Canada. Additional stations may be warranted west of Manitoba/Saskatchewan.
Furthermore, training has been introduced with the intent of ensuring that the welfare of animals that are transported is not negatively impacted. Commercial carriers must ensure that persons involved directly or indirectly in any aspect of animal transport are trained to fully understand their respective tasks as they relate to livestock transport.
CTA highlighted the need for training funding and support for training for the general trucking industry as well as the livestock transportation sector.
“Our industry should be treated like other sectors in Canada when it comes to funding for training,” Shoan told the committee.
Click here to see the full CTA submission to the committee: House of Commons- Agriculture Sector_public