Important Message from GIRCom
— Alpacas as a Livestock
The 2018 farm bill or Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018 became law on December 20, 2018, when it was signed by the President. Once again alpacas have been defined as livestock. The specific wording is as follows: SEC. 12104. DEFINITION OF LIVESTOCK. Section 602(2) of the Emergency Livestock Feed Assistance Act of 1988 (7 U.S.C. 1471(2)) is amended in the matter preceding subparagraph (A) by striking “fish” and all that follows through “that—” and inserting “llamas, alpacas, live fish, crawfish, and other animals that—”.
The first time the federal government officially designated alpacas as farm livestock was in May, 2008, when Congress enacted into law the Food, Conservation, and Energy Act of 2008, better known as the Federal Farm Bill. The 2008 Farm Bill defined livestock as meaning "all animals raised on farms, as determined by the Secretary." (see page 106 of the 2008 Farm Bill) The accompanying explanatory language stated “The definition of livestock is intended to include alpaca and bison.” (see page 31–32 in the Joint Explanatory Statement of the Committee of Conference). The Food, Conservation, and Energy Act of 2008 and the Joint Explanatory Statement of the Committee of Conference are posted at www.alpacainfo.com (under Organization/Committees/Government and Industry Relations Committee) for your information. The 2014 Farm Bill, also known as the Agricultural Act of 2014 contained similar language and is also posted.
Because of the federal designation of alpacas as livestock, alpaca owners should have access to programs previously available only to more traditional livestock producers, including grant and loan programs. In addition, a Federal designation as livestock should help those who have questions about the Electronic Logging Device (ELD) Mandate. Per the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), “transporters of livestock and insects are not required to have an ELD. The statutory exemption will remain in place until further notice.” (https://www.fmcsa.dot.gov/hours-service/elds/regulatory-guidance-transportation-agricultural-commodities-including-livestock
)There are also agricultural exceptions and exemptions to the Hours of Service (HOS) and Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) rules (https://www.fmcsa.dot.gov/hours-service/elds/eld-hours-service-hos-and-agriculture-exemptions
). Members should visit the FMCSA website to evaluate your individual circumstances and corresponding requirements.