Grain Trade Welcomes Temporary  Relaxation of Drivers Hours Regulations, on Animal Welfare Grounds

Thompsons Moy Park Lorry in the Snow
Thompsons Moy Park Lorry in the Snow

Animal feed suppliers have welcomed the temporary relaxation of the enforcement of drivers’ hours and working time rules.

Declan Billington, President of the NI Grain Trade Association and Chief Executive of John Thompson and Sons said “ NIGTA members have been working in close partnership with their hauliers to ensure that livestock don’t go hungry in these difficult conditions.”

He went on to state that in some of the more difficult terrain, farmers  have been forced to meet the delivery lorries at the most accessible part of the farm boundary, with a trailer for the lorry to blow into, or taking feed in bags, while others have spent many long hours is sub zero temperatures  been clearing laneways to allow feed lorries and  milk tankers to access to the farm.

“Given the dependence of pig and poultry farms on compound feed it has truly been an industry wide team effort, with companies like Moy Park  sending salt, grit and  shovels  out with the delivery lorries and, in the worst hit areas, have  salting teams  out in force supporting the overstretched farmer” he added.

Gritting to help a Capper Lorry on it's way
Gritting to help a Capper Lorry on it's way

A spokesperson for Moypark  pointed out ”When you consider that we need to move some 6500 tonnes of feed per week across our farming base in Northern Ireland this has been a major challenge.  Our dedicated haulage partner, Capper Trading, has been doing sterling work with well equipped  teams standing shoulder to shoulder with the farmer, clearing difficult roads and tribute  must be paid to those teams and to the farmer in going that extra mile  to protect the welfare of the livestock.

Declan Billington added “ The temporary relaxation on drivers hours will help the industry get back on track with  building enough stock in the country  to  ensure farms get through this Christmas without experiencing any shortages. The pre-Christmas period is always very busy as we deliver extra feed to tide farms over the holiday period.”