Transport of Live Animals
From Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine
Last updated on
From Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine
Last updated on
On 05 January 2007 new EU rule (Council Regulation (EC) 1 of 2005 on the protection of animals during transport and related operations) on the protection of animals during transport came into operation. The Council Regulation has been given legal effect in Ireland by the European Communities (Animal Transport and Control Post) Regulations 2006 (S.I. No. 675 of 2006).
The Council Regulation is aimed at improving the welfare of animals, including cattle, sheep, goats, pigs, horses, dogs and poultry, during transport throughout the European Union.
It is important to note that the new rules only apply to the transport of animals undertaken in connection with an economic activity. The transport of animals directly to or from veterinary practices or clinics, under the advice of a veterinarian and the transport of animals to or from shows or gymkanas by its owner are also excluded from the provisions of the Regulation.
Farmers transporting their own animals in their own vehicle up to a maximum distance of 65km are also excluded from the main provisions of the Regulation. However, they must observe General conditions for the transport of animals.
Farmers transporting animals on journeys over 65km on a regular basis may have to apply to the Department of Agriculture and Food for an authorisation. However, in relation to training these farmers will be deemed to have the necessary competence based on agricultural training undertaken in Ireland, the approval process for herd numbers and the availability of a booklet on standards for animal transport.
Commercial transporters transporting animals on journeys up to a maximum distance of 65km are not required to be authorised or to undergo training. However, they are required to carry documentation in their vehicle stating:
Department of Agriculture and Food Council Regulation (EC) no 1/2005 transport documentation
The Department recommends that transporters hold on to this document for at least 6 months.
Applications for UK Type 2 are obtained through WIT@apha.gov.uk
UK Vehicle approval can be applied for through the following email@example.com
Under the Council Regulation it is a legal requirement when transporting live animals on journeys over 65km in connection with an economic activity to be authorised by the Department of Agriculture and Food. The Regulation provides for two types of authorisation
Authorisation covers journeys over 65km (short journeys) to a maximum duration of 8 hours (transports undertaken within the island of Ireland)
Authorisation covers journeys over 8 hours (long journeys - transport from Ireland) -
Applicants must submit an application form and a copy of their contingency plan. Please see below for application form and contingency plan template:
Please note that processing times for these applications are approximately 10 days (2 working weeks). All applications should be submitted to firstname.lastname@example.org at least 10 days in advance of any planned journeys, to allow appropriate time to process the relevant registration or licence request. Where an application also requires a physical inspection (for example, vehicles used to transport livestock), operators should allow 10 days after satisfactory inspection has been completed before any registration or approval certificate may be available. Operators are encouraged to apply for registrations and licences well in advance. Planning a journey within the 10 day period is strongly discouraged.
Contingency Plan Template
When completing the application form it is recommended that you carefully read the Guidelines and Checklist for completing the Transport Authorisation Application Form.
List of Authorised Transporters (Type 2)
Under Council Regulation EC 1/2005 it is a requirement that those applying for authorisation from outside an EU member state must have representation within the member state they are applying to. Therefore, applicants based in the UK must have representation in Ireland when applying here. The representative must be an individual with a permanent address in Ireland and they must complete and sign an agent form.
UK based applicants must complete and return the below application form and submit it alongside their agent form. They are also required to name a driver who holds a valid Certificate of Competence. DAFM cannot accept certificates obtained in the UK.
These documents are a requirement before a vehicle inspection can be arranged:
UK Application Form
Contingency Plan Template
The Department has drafted guidelines to set out the requirements in relation to the welfare of species other than bovine, ovine, caprine, porcine and equine species during commercial transport. Included under this general heading of "other species" are animals such as dogs, cats, small mammals, caged birds, reptiles etc.
Fish transporters are required to hold Type 2 approval when transporting live fish outside the island of Ireland and therefore must complete and submit the appropriate application form(s) in order to gain approval
Vehicle Certificates of Approval do not apply to those transporting live fish. There is also no requirement for drivers and attendants to hold a Certificate of Competence when transporting live fish.
Important Note: A Transport Authorisation issued by the Department of Agriculture and Food does not absolve a transporter from his or her responsibilities in complying with legislation enforced by other Government Departments.
The Council Regulation requires that transporters who transport live animals in connection with an economic activity on journeys over 65km may only entrust the handling of animals to staff who have received training on technical provisions of the Regulation. The technical provisions include fitness to travel, the means of transport, facilities and procedures, journey times and rest periods, space allowances and documentation.
The Regulation also requires operators/managers of livestock marts and assembly centres to entrust the handling of animals to staff who have received training on fitness, handling and separation of animals.
All drivers of vehicles transporting cattle, sheep, goats, pigs, horses, and poultry on journeys over 65km or off the island of Ireland are required by law to hold an appropriate licence for transporting that species and type of animal. This license is called a certificate of competence.
Holders of a Certificate of Competence are reminded to check the expiry date on their Certificate. Please be advised that in order to obtain a new Certificate you will be required to re-sit an approved training course.
The Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine will only issue certificates of competence to individuals who have successfully completed an approved course.
To apply for a Certificate of Complete, you must first complete an approved course. These professional training courses include experience and knowledge on best practice in animal handling and the impact of driving on animal behavior emergency care and safety, EU rules on animal welfare and animal health during transportation, and a formal examination.
Please contact the providers listed below directly for information on upcoming courses.
|Livestock/Large Animals||Teagasc||051-644527 (Zerlina Pratt)||email@example.com|
|Poultry||Teagasc||049-4338653 (Liam McWeeney)||firstname.lastname@example.org|
|Small Animals/Other Species|
These rules do not apply to people transporting own pets for more information on travelling with your pet visit Pet Travel .
The Department approve relevant courses from education and training providers. Further information on our process for reviewing and approving courses is outlined in the following guidance notes.
The design of a vehicle used to transport live animals must be to a standard that it provides for the safety of the animal during loading, transit and unloading and protect animals from unnecessary suffering, injury and from the weather.
The vehicle must be escape-proof and sufficiently strong to bear the weight of the species it is to carry. The walls, partitions, floors and side protection gates must be free of any sharp edges, protrusions, gaps, holes and spaces that are likely to cause injury. Slippery conditions on floors must be avoided. There must be access, with sufficient lighting, to the animals in the vehicle to allow them to be inspected and cared for.
In addition, sufficient space should be provided inside the animals' compartment and at each of its levels, to ensure that there is adequate ventilation above the animals when standing in a naturally standing position, without on any account hindering their natural movement.
Vehicles in which animals are transported must be clearly and visibly marked indicating the presence of live animals. A passenger vehicle with glass windows on the sides is in general unsuitable for commercial transport of live animals.
Vehicles used for the transport of animals on long journeys (over 8 hours in duration, and all journeys off the island of Ireland) must be inspected by the Department of Agriculture and Food and approved in advance of any transportation. Guidelines on the specifications required for vehicles to be approved can be downloaded at links below:
Guidelines for Vehicles Seeking Approval for transportation of livestock (cattle, sheep, goats and pigs), by road and ferry off the island or Ireland
Please click on the following link for important information from the UK authorities re travelling to or via the UK in relation to revised procedures for vehicle checks.
Guidelines for Vehicles Seeking Approval for transportation of live horses by road and ferry off the island of Ireland
Arrangements for presenting a vehicle for an inspection can be made by contacting the Transport Section at Tel: 01-6072848, Email: email@example.com
The Council Regulation requires any person who transports cattle, sheep, goats, pigs or unregistered horses on journeys over 8 hours (from Ireland) in connection with an economic activity to complete a Updated Journey Log (formerly known as a Route Plan).
The Journey Log will need to be approved by the appropriate District Veterinary Office (DVO). For more information please refer to Journey Log Guidelines .
GPS reports from long journeys must be submitted to DAFM within 14 days following the completion of the journey. The reports must be sent to GPSReturns@agriculture.gov.ie and to the Regional Veterinary Office of the certifying DAFM Veterinary Inspector (please see list of RVO email addresses below).
Please note that GPS returns are only required for Transporters of livestock (bovine, ovine, caprine, porcine) and Transporters of Equidae other than registered Equidae.
The Farm Animal Welfare Advisory Council (FAWAC) has produced a booklet on best practice for the welfare of animals during transport. The Department has also drafted Guidelines for the welfare of animals during transport. The FAWAC booklet and the Guidelines for the welfare of animals during transport can be downloaded from the links below:
Trader Notice – Ref TN VECIT 09/2022 – issued 16/05/2022 by Veterinary Export Certification & International Trade Division (VECIT)