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Safeguarding Animal Welfare in Transport

Private Members Bill C-385, Harmonizing Canadian Electronic Logging Device Rules for Agriculture Transport with the USA

Over the past year, I’ve met with constituents in trucking and agriculture that have been facing a great challenge: the Electronic Logging Device (ELD).

For those unaware, the ELD is a device that automatically tracks on-duty hours-of-service that a trucker incurs during work hours. Once the driver reaches the legal maximum of 13 hours-of-service, the driver is required to pause for the minimum required consecutive off-duty time.

Prior to the ELD, paper logs were used to track hours, but with concerns for driver safety and misuse of the paper logs, the ELDs were implemented over a transition period of 2 years. Since January 2023, the ELD has been mandatory in all long-haul transport trucks across Canada regardless of the load.

This implementation led to some unintended consequences when considering the type of commodity hauled between provinces or across the southern border. Namely, the transportation of livestock and insects (honeybees).

Canada’s Electronic Logging Device mandate for long haul transportation creates a serious challenge for livestock drivers. Live haul drivers, unlike freight transporters, cannot simply pull into a rest area and go off-duty. If due to unforeseen circumstances, they are not able to make it to the intended destination within the hours-of-service, Livestock transporters are then put in the difficult position of either complying with hours-of-service regulations by going off-duty or doing what is best for the animals in their care which is getting them to their intended destination.

These unforeseen delays can endanger animal welfare by potential overheating, exhaustion, or fatigue if the driver is required to pause for an extended amount of time. The United States provides an exemption for the transport of certain agriculture commodities within a 150 air-mile radius both from the origin and destination of the journey.

That’s why, after nearly a year of consultation with stakeholders in the agriculture and transport industries, as well as hearing from my own constituents affected by this mandate, I have introduced a Private Member’s Bill, C-385: An Act to Amend the Motor Vehicle Transport Act, which seeks to harmonize Canadian ELD rules with the US by setting a 240-km radius ELD exemption within the origin and destination of the inter-provincial journey.

My common-sense Conservative Private Member’s Bill would allow flexibility so transporters can safeguard the welfare of livestock in the event of unforeseen delays during loading/unloading or during transport which may cause drivers to go over their ELD allotted hours-of-service.

The Bill has already received widespread support from several stakeholder organizations across Canada. My Conservative colleagues and I know that our Canadian agriculture industry operates at the highest standards, and I look forward to continuing to work with industry, farmers, and producers, to safeguard animal welfare and bring home the best quality food in the world.

For more information on the Bill or if you would like to voice your support, please do not hesitate to contact my office at:

Martin Shields,

MP Bow River