Trading advice from several sources is available to help businesses comply with the law.
The Health and Safety Executive website has advice on:
The Chartered Trading Standards Institute provides advice on a number of topics:
In the guide
What the law says about the welfare, handling and transportation of poultry, particularly at markets
This guidance is for England
Poultry are required to be handled and transported in a certain way. This includes safely carrying poultry, supporting them with both hands and ensuring that there is adequate space and ventilation.
When transporting poultry, only use vehicles that are fit for the purpose. Transport of poultry on journeys over 65 km and under eight hours requires the transporter to be authorised (different rules apply for animals being transported for longer than eight hours). Drivers or attendants responsible for the transport of farmed poultry over 65 km must hold a valid certificate of competence. Journeys over 50 km require an animal transport certificate to be completed for each journey and kept for six months.
Handling and welfare
Three simple rules for better poultry handling:
1. Use both hands:
2. Enclose the wings and support all the bird's weight in your hands:
3. Ask for help with box lids and cage doors:
This is the correct way to handle poultry at a market. Further advice is available from the animal health inspector, if one is on duty at the market.
Poultry handlers must not:
When transporting poultry always remember that:
Anyone transporting poultry in connection with an economic activity must:
Note: a journey starts from a place where animals are first loaded and have been accommodated for at least 48 hours.
As of 1 January 2021, there are additional requirements relating to transporter authorisation, certificates of competence, vehicle / container approval and journey logs when transporting animals from the UK to EU Member States or through the EU to a non-EU country. The EU will no longer recognise UK-issued versions of these documents. For more information please see 'Transporting livestock by road: paperwork'.
For further details of the legal requirements relating to the transportation of animals please contact the Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA) on 03000 200301 or email WIT@apha.gov.uk.
Some general information on catching, handling and transport can be found in Defra's document Code of Practice for the Welfare of Meat Chickens and Meat Breeding Chickens.
Additional information can be found in the Defra document Welfare of Animals During Transport: Advice for Transporters of Poultry.
Failure to comply with trading standards law can lead to enforcement action and to sanctions, which may include a fine and/or imprisonment. For more information please see 'Trading standards: powers, enforcement and penalties'.
Last reviewed / updated: March 2021
In this update
Link to information on transporting livestock to (or through) the EU
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 legislation can be found on each link's 'More Resources' tab.
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