Welfare of Animals (Transport) Order (as amended)

Applies to EnglandApplies to WalesApplies to Scotland

Title: Welfare of Animals (Transport) Order (as amended)

Category: England, Wales and Scotland Law

Date: 1997, 1999, 2006

Reference: SI 1997/1480 [Full text] (amendments include SI 1999/1622, SI 2006/3260 - England [Full text])

General Description:

This legislation re-enacts the Welfare of Animals during Transport Order 1994, and applies the EU rules on animal welfare set in 1995 (Council Directive 91/628/EEC). It imposes restrictions upon the transport of livestock through the introduction of Authorisations. All commercial transporters of vertebrate animals must possess either a general or a specific authorisation. Specific authorisations apply for the transport of sheep, cattle, goats, pigs and horses for journeys of over 8 hours in road vehicles and for all journeys by sea or air.

From July 1998 all staff transporting livestock under a Specific Authorisation must be able to demonstrate that they are competent to handle animals in transport (either through a relevant qualification or through an assessment of practical experience).

Specific provisions are as follows:

General provisions on the protection of animals in transport

  1. Transport of an animal must not cause it unnecessary pain, injury or suffering.
  2. Transport by air or sea shall not be allowed if the commander of the vessel thinks there is a possibility of injury or pain to an animal (e.g. through adverse weather conditions).
  3. Adequate space must be provided for an animal in transit.
  4. Mammals and birds which are likely to give birth during a journey, or which have given birth in the last 48 hours, or which are newly born and whose navels have not yet healed, must not be transported.
  5. Infant animals who cannot yet feed themselves must not be transported without their mother.
  6. Where animals fall ill during transport, it is the duty of the transporter to provide care in the form of first aid, and if necessary by contacting a veterinary surgeon.
  7. Floors of receptacles must be durable and free of protrusions which might injure an animal. Receptacles must also be escape proof, and noise must be minimised.
  8. Lighting shall be adequate for inspection purposes, and safe (un)loading
  9. The receptacle must be cleaned before the loading of animals for a journey. Unless animal waste is removed regularly, there must be plenty of litter on the ground.

Journeys to slaughterhouses or veterinary surgeons are exempt.

Feeding, watering, travel times and rest periods (Cattle, Sheep, Goats, Pigs, Horses)

  1. Journey times shall not exceed eight hours
  2. The eight hour limit can be exceeded only if the following requirements are provided for:
    1. There is sufficient bedding
    2. The vehicle carries the necessary food for the animals and the journey time
    3. The animals can be accessed directly
    4. The ventilation is adequate, & can be adjusted according to temperature.
    5. There are movable panels for the creation of separate compartments
    6. Vehicles are equipped so that they can be connected to a water supply during stops
    7. In the case of pigs, enough water for the journey must be carried on board, and the journey must not exceed 24 hours.
    8. In the case of cattle, sheep, & goats, after fourteen hours a rest period of at least one hour must be given, to enable drinking and, if necessary, feeding.
    9. At the end of a journey, animals must be unloaded, fed and watered & rested for at least 24 hours.
    10. Journey times by train must not exceed eight hours.

Additional requirements are laid out for animals which pass through a market where documentation is unavailable.

The 2006 Order makes provision in England for the administration and enforcement of Council Regulation (EC) No 1/2005 on the protection of animals during transport and related operations.

Pertinence to Agriculture: Animal Welfare, Transport

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