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In the guide
There are strict rules about the paperwork that needs to be held by those who transport animals as part of a business
Note: although the United Kingdom has left the European Union, certain pieces of legislation (formally known as 'retained EU law') will still apply until such time as they are replaced by new UK legislation; this means that you will still see references to EU regulations in our guidance.
This guidance is for England
It is essential that those transporting animals on journeys of more than 65 km (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.
Anyone transporting animals on journeys of more than 65 km as part of an economic activity must hold a valid transporter authorisation to do so.
There are two types of authorisation:
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 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. Transporters need to re-apply every five years as there are no automatic renewals.
How to apply
Application forms for both type 1 and type 2 journey authorisations are available on the GOV.UK website 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 200301 (option 4, then option 3, then option 5), email: email@example.com
Certificate of competence / training of drivers and 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 the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra).
Details of the independent bodies designated by Defra to undertake assessments for competence and award competence certificates are available on the GOV.UK website, 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:
However, please note that farmers transporting their own animals, by their own means of transport, on journeys of up to 50 km (about 31 miles) from their holding, are exempt from this requirement.
A template form can be found on the GOV.UK website.
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.
Transporting livestock to (or through) the EU
Since 1 January 2021, UK-issued transporter authorisations, certificates of competence and vehicle approvals are not valid for transporting animals from the UK to EU Member States. The EU no longer recognises UK-issued versions of these documents. (See the European Commission statement for more information.)
You need EU-issued documents to transport live animals:
You should apply to an EU Member State where you have representation to get a:
You can use GB-issued transporter authorisations, certificates of competence, and vehicle approval certificates in Northern Ireland.
You can use Northern Ireland-issued transporter authorisations, certificates of competence, and vehicle approval certificates in GB.
To transport live animals from or through GB to the EU, you will need to apply for two journey logs:
For further information on documents to transport live animals, contact APHA's Welfare in Transport Team, Animal and Plant Health Agency, Centre for International Trade, Eden Bridge House, Lowther Street, Carlisle, CA3 8DX. Tel: 03000 200301 (option 4, then option 3, then option 5), email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
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
New section: '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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