Consultation proposals for new national rules and procedures for
the welfare of animals during transport are published today.
They will affect those transporting all vertebrate animals in connection
with an economic activity including hauliers and farmers transporting
animals to market. They will not affect:
transport of animals not in connection with an economic activity
e.g. taking a pet on holiday
journeys to or from a veterinary practice or clinic under veterinary
farmers transporting their own animals in their vehicles under
The new rules require among other things that:
- From 5 January 2007 anyone transporting vertebrate animals over 65km
must be specifically authorised
- All vehicles used to transport animals over 8 hours must be inspected
and approved against new standards and
- From 5 January 2008, drivers and attendants on journeys over 65km
must hold a certificate of competence if transporting horses, cattle,
sheep, goats, pigs or poultry
Stringent rules will apply to all commercial journeys in respect of:
- Responsibilities of transporters and keepers and handling practices
- Fitness to travel and journey limits for young animals
Those affected will also include anyone providing training and assessment
of drivers, attendants and market staff in welfare in transport rules.
Ben Bradshaw, minister for animal health and welfare, welcomed the implementation
of these new rules.
He said: "These new rules, which the UK supported, will
enable us to protect the welfare of animals in transport better than
we do now.
"While they do not address the key welfare issues of journey times
and space allowances they are a welcome step forward. We look forward
to the Commission's review of the new rules including journey times
"Defra and devolved administrations will be working closely with stakeholder
organisations to help farmers, transporters and others understand the changes
and what they must do to comply."
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