The Canadian Trucking Alliance is advocating for a more level playing field for truckers who transport livestock, wanting to make sure fines levied by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency are meted out fairly across the industry.
Truckers who transport hogs are routinely fined for in-transit losses, and the CFIA usually finds that if three or more hogs died while on route, the driver is likely guilty of malpractice. The agency is fighting against this conclusion. Recent research, the agency said, has found that most hogs die in transit from preexisting conditions and not from stress, overheating or other conditions the driver can control.
“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,” CTA’s Stephen Laskowski said in a statement.
But the alliance’s complaints don’t stop there. The CTA also wants the governing body to alter its RFID tagging rules in regard to animals in transport. It is prohibited to transport an animal that has not been tagged by its owner, but if a driver happens to load an animal that has not been properly tagged, the CFIA can fine the carrier, the producer and the receiver. The CTA argues that this blame is misplaced.
“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,” Laskowski said. “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 behavior can actually change the outcome.” - Jon Ross