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Welfare of farm animals during transport

Under the Welfare of Animals (Transport) (England) Order 2006 farmers transporting their own animals by their own means of transport, for a distance of less than 50km (31 miles) from their holding, must ensure that no person transports an animal or causes animals to be transported in a way likely to cause injury or undue suffering. The animal should also be fit for the intended journey.

Those transporting animals in any other circumstances must, in addition to the above welfare requirements, carry an animal transport certificate (ATC). A transporter authorisation and certificate of competence are also necessary when transporting animals over a distance of 65km (40.3 miles).

The Order applies to persons who transport live vertebrate animals, including farm livestock (cattle, sheep, pigs, goats, poultry, deer, and horses), in connection with an economic activity (in other words, a business or trade).

In the guide
Principal requirements
Documentation required
Fitness of animals for transport
Transport requirements for young animals
Personnel
Penalties

Principal requirements
All persons who take animals on a journey, whatever the length, have a duty to ensure that the animals are transported in a way that is not likely to cause injury or undue suffering.

Farmers transporting their own animals, in their own means of transport, for a distance of less than 50km (31 miles) from their holding or as part of transhumance (seasonal movement of livestock) must ensure:

Documentation required
Persons transporting animals in any other circumstances, must in addition to the above requirements, carry documentation known as an animal transport certificate (ATC) in the vehicle stating:

A template form can be found on the GOV.UK website.

An animal movement document for sheep and goats (ARAMS-1) and pigs (eAML2/haulier summary) may be used as an animal transport certificate for those animals providing all the sections on the form are completed. The ARAMS-1 form may be carried as a paper copy, or can be an electronic copy carried by the haulier provided it can be printed for an inspector during the journey if requested.

The information required should be completed at each stage of the journey and must be made available to an inspector if requested. The ATC must be kept by the transporter for six months after each journey.

Any person transporting animals a distance of over 65km (40.3 miles) must also:

Livestock must always be identified in accordance with the relevant legislation and species specific documentation must accompany the animals during transport.  For further information see our leaflets relating to goats, sheep, cattle, pigs and horses.

Fitness of animals for transport
Animals that are injured, weak or diseased shall not be considered fit for transport, particularly if they:

Sedatives must not be used on animals to be transported, unless under veterinary supervision.

Lactating females (cattle, sheep and goats) not accompanied by their offspring must be milked at intervals of not more than 12 hours.

Transport requirements for young animals
Pigs under three weeks old, lambs under one week old, and calves under ten days old must not be transported, unless they are transported for a distance less than 100km (62.1 miles).

Appropriate bedding for must be provided for:

The bedding material used must ensure adequate absorption of urine and faeces.

Personnel
An attendant must accompany the animals except where the driver performs the functions of an attendant.

Penalties
Any person who contravenes the Welfare of Animals (Transport) (England) Order 2006 commits an offence against the Animal Health Act 1981 and can receive a fine of up to £5,000 per offence and/or six months' imprisonment on summary conviction.

Please note
This leaflet is not an authoritative interpretation of the law and is intended only for guidance. Any legislation referred to, while still current, may have been amended from the form in which it was originally enacted. Please contact us for further information.

Relevant legislation
Animal Health Act 1981
Welfare of Animals (Transport) (England) Order 2006
Sheep and Goats (Records, Identification and Movement) (England) Order 2009
Pigs (Records, Identification and Movement) Order 2011

Last reviewed/updated: May 2014

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