Welfare of Animals During Transport Order

Applies to EnglandApplies to WalesApplies to Scotland

Title: Welfare of Animals During Transport Order

Category: England, Wales and Scotland Law

Date: 1994

Reference: SI 1994/3249 [Full text]

General Description:

This legislation has been briefly amended by the Welfare of Animals during Transport (Amendment) Order 1995, and revoked / re-enacted by the Welfare of Animals (Transport) Order 1997.

The order is implemented under the Animal Health Act 1981, and covers all mammals & other four footed beasts (except humans), fish, reptiles, crustaceans, and any other cold blooded animal of any species (birds included).

General provisions

Animals must not be transported in a way which may cause injury or unnecessary suffering to them. An animal must not be transported if it is unfit by way of it being new-born, diseased, infirm, ill, injured, fatigued, heavily pregnant or if it has given birth in the preceding 48 hours (necessary travel to a veterinary establishment is exempt from this).

Loading and unloading

Any loading or unloading action which may cause unnecessary harm to an animal is not allowed. It is the duty of the persons responsible for the animal to ensure that suffering does not occur as a result of interior fittings in a vessel, aircraft or vehicle; or from exposure to weather or sea; or from inadequate air supply; or fluctuations in environmental conditions.

Feeding and watering

The person responsible for the animal must ensure that a substantial meal and plenty of water has been provided just prior to any journey taking place. These necessities must also be given at regular intervals throughout the journey. Gaps between rest, food and water breaks must not exceed 15 hours for bovine, ovine, caprine, porcine & equine animals. With respect to domestic cats & dogs, watering must be no less than every 12 hours, feeding every 24 hours. Clear, written instructions should be provided.

Long journeys

In the case of prolonged journeys (i.e. over 15 hours for most farm animals), arrangements must be made in advance of travel for the feeding, watering, resting and, if necessary accommodation of any beasts in transit. Upon completion of the journey, it must be certified by the person who drew up the plan, that it was completed as planned, and if the plan was not adhered to, the differences must be noted and sent to the Divisional Veterinary Officer for the area where the animals departed from (within 15 days of arrival). The plan must be kept, whether altered or not, for 6 months after the journey, as it may be requested by an inspector.

Various exceptions to the above provisions apply, depending on the distance being travelled, the size of the vehicle, and the purpose of the trip. The legislation should be consulted for details.

In the case of transport on aircraft, the standards and provisions of the International Air Transport Association (IATA) must be adhered to.

Inspectors hold various powers to prohibit transport, and specify conditions for transport, both before departure and during a journey.

Pertinence to Agriculture: Animal Welfare, Transport

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