Animal health and welfare

The advice sheets below have the latest information on animal health and welfare. If you need more advice call 01753 475111 (Enforcement & Regulatory option).

Transporting livestock by road: paperwork

In the guide

This guidance is for England

It is essential that those transporting animals on journeys of more than 65km (about 40 miles) as part of an economic activity hold a valid transporter authorisation to do so.

Farmers, transporters and attendants using road vehicles for transporting farm animals, which includes poultry and horses, in connection with an economic activity must have received appropriate training. They must also hold a certificate of competence issued by an independent body nominated by Defra.

An animal transport certificate (ATC) must be completed for every journey unless an exemption is met.

Transporter authorisations

Anyone transporting animals on journeys of more than 65km as part of an economic activity must hold a valid transporter authorisation to do so.

There are two types of authorisation:

  • type 1. A short journey authorisation for journeys longer than 65km and up to and including eight hours duration
  • type 2. A long journey authorisation that covers all journeys, including those lasting more than eight hours

Transporters must carry their authorisation certificate, or a copy of it, whenever transporting animals. Animal health and welfare inspectors or trading standards officers may ask to see authorisations.

Authorisation certificates will be issued in Great Britain by the Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA) and more information on welfare during transportation is available on the GOV.UK website.

The authorisation will last for five years unless revoked or suspended. It may have conditions imposed upon it at any time within this period if there are infringements of any requirement of EU Regulation (EC) No 1/2005 on the protection of animals during transport and related operations or the Welfare of Animals (Transport) (England) Order 2006.

Anyone requiring an authorisation will need to submit an application. Anyone completing the application form should read the notes on the form. They explain what information is required in each section.

It is important to note that authorisations last for five years, unless revoked by the Secretary of State due to infringements of the legislation. From 2017 transporters will need to re-apply every five years as there will be no automatic renewals.

How to apply

Application forms for both type 1 and type 2 journey authorisations are available on the GOV.UK website (scroll down to 'Transporter authorisation') or in writing to:

Welfare in Transport Team, Animal and Plant Health Agency, Centre for International Trade, Eden Bridge House, Lowther Street, Carlisle, CA3 8DX
Tel: 03000 200 301 (option 4, then option 3, then option 5), email: wit@apha.gsi.gov.uk

Certificate of competence / training of drivers & attendants

Farmers, transporters or attendants using road vehicles for transporting farm animals, poultry or horses in connection with an economic activity must have received appropriate training. They must also hold a certificate of competence issued by an independent body nominated by Defra. This replaces the requirement for certification by employers or self-assessment of self-employed transporters / farmers.

Details of the independent bodies designated by Defra to undertake assessments for competence and award competence certificates are available on the GOV.UK website (scroll down to 'Vehicle inspection and approval scheme'), which also contains information on training and competence certification.

Animal transport certificates

These are required for journeys of any species of animals over any distance or duration, except journeys involving farm livestock or unregistered domestic equidae (horses) on export journeys lasting more than eight hours, which require a journey log instead (part of which needs to be submitted and approved before the journey can begin). The purpose of a journey log is to ensure such journeys are properly planned, with the required rest stops along the way, and without exceeding maximum journey times. The first section of the journey log must be submitted to the Welfare in Transport Team (contact details above) and a copy of the completed log must be submitted to the same office within a month of the journey's completion.

An animal transport certificate is required to record the following:

  • origin and ownership of animals
  • place of departure and destination
  • date and time of departure and expected duration of journey

However, please note that farmers transporting their own animals, by their own means of transport, on journeys of up to 50km (about 31 miles) from their holding, are exempt from this requirement.

A template form can be found on the GOV.UK website (scroll down to 'Animal transport certificates').

An animal movement licence form for sheep and goats (ARAMS-1) and a haulier summary for pigs (using the eAML2 system) may be used as an animal transport certificate for those animals, providing all the sections on the form are completed.

Penalties

Failure to comply with the requirements of the Welfare of Animals (Transport) Order 2006 is an offence under the Animal Health Act 1981. The maximum penalty is a fine and two years' imprisonment. 

Key legislation

Last reviewed / updated: September 2017

PixelPlease note

This information is intended for guidance; only the courts can give an authoritative interpretation of the law.

The guide's 'Key legislation' links may only show the original version of the legislation, although some amending legislation is linked to separately where it is directly related to the content of a guide. Information on amendments to UK legislation can be found on each link's 'More Resources' tab; amendments to EU legislation are usually incorporated into the text.

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