Transport rule blow
LATEST EU rules on live transport will increase haulage charges, according to Eddie Harper, chairman of the livestock group of the Road Haulage Association.
Most of the lorries built within the last couple of years would meet the standards expected of a 14-hour journey, said Mr Harper. He felt connecting a water supply would be the greatest expense, possibly costing £5000 a lorry. "That cost has to be met somewhere along the line, but in the long-term it will benefit the industry.
"We are happy there has been an agreement between member states and that industry recommendations, such as licensing hauliers and registering containers, have been accepted," he added.
Equipping wagons with permanent feed and watering facilities would reduce stocking densities, which was an additional cost, said a Meat and Livestock Commission spokesman. "There will be some casualties amongst the cowboys, but organised and responsible haulage companies will keep going.
"We are pleased there has been an agreement after all this time and that the industry can be seen to be putting its own house in order. There are some areas to be smoothed out, but there is time to make certain representations between now and the law coming into force. Perhaps there will be derogations introduced for those disadvantaged farmers."
• See Transport Special – p48.