While the immediate pressure to obtain Certificates of Competence
for all those transporting livestock is off, the English Beef and
Lamb Executive (EBLEX) stresses that beef and sheep producers must
make sure they secure any certification necessary for drivers and
vehicle attendants under the new 2007 EU animal transport regulations
by the end of April 2008.
The original January 5 deadline for obtaining the certificates
remains in force. However, as part of the Defra aid package
linked to FMD and Bluetongue, it has been agreed that no
sanctions will be taken against transporters undertaking
journeys within the UK without certificates until the end
The 65 km (40 mile) cut-off means most farmers are unlikely
to require Certificates of Competence for the majority
of their day-to-day livestock movements. Nor will they
need certification for longer distance journeys involving
individual animals or stock moving to and from veterinary
facilities under veterinary advice.
However, all those who may need to transport several animals
more than 65 km at any stage – to or from breeding
stock sales, more distant markets, abattoirs or holdings,
for instance – would be well advised to ensure key
individuals are trained and certified within the coming
few months. Certificates covering journeys of under eight
hours will only require a theory test rather than the practical
assessment of driving and animal handling skills also demanded
for those involved in longer journeys.
These requirements are, of course, in addition to having
a valid transporter authorisation for the business, completing
the necessary Animal Transport Certificate for each journey
and abiding by the animal welfare rules governing all animal
transport over whatever distance
Certificates of Competence can be obtained through the
National Proficiency Test Council and SAI Global/EFSIS.
They are awarded on the successful completion of either
a computer-based multiple choice test at assessment centres
across England and Wales or a one-to-one test conducted
by an independent assessor at a farm or other suitable
In each case the assessments test a range of competencies,
including legal requirements, responsibilities when transporting
animals, planning journeys, vehicle suitability, checking
animals and fitness to travel, causes and signs of stress,
handling and welfare in transit, and
space allowances, stocking densities and segregation requirements.
Full details of the NPTC test schedules, test centre locations,
testing arrangements and costs are available through www.nptc.org.uk.
A series of Defra-funded workshops will be run across England
in January to highlight the requirements and process of
certification. Full details are available from ADAS on
01522 521302 or by e-mail from email@example.com.
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