Welfare of Animals During Transport

The EU Regulation for transporting animals can be viewed at

If you rear and transport gamebirds in connection with an economic activity (i.e. as part of a business or trade) this will affect you.

There are a number of specific points that anyone transporting gamebirds in connection with an economic activity needs to take account of. Those transporting gamebirds on journeys up to 65km need to observe the following EU rules and general welfare provisions:

  • No one shall transport animals, or cause them to be transported, in a way likely to cause them injury or undue suffering.
  • Journey times are kept to a minimum.
  • The animals must be fit to travel.
  • Those handling animals have been trained and are competent.
  • The vehicle and its loading and unloading facilities are designed, constructed and maintained to avoid injury and suffering and to ensure the safety of the animals.
  • Documentation is provided which shows the following: origin and ownership of animals; place of departure and destination; date and time of departure and expected duration of journey (usually referred to as an Animal Transport Certificate).
  • The EU rules refer to poultry. In this instance Defra considers poultry to include: domestic fowl, ducks, geese, turkeys, guinea, fowl, quails, pheasants and partridges.
  • Water, feed and opportunity to rest are made available to the animals as appropriate and sufficient floor space and height is available in the transport.

Short Journeys* (over 65km and up to eight hours)

If you transport gamebirds on ‘short’ journeys over 65km (approximately 40 miles) and up to eight hours, you must:

  • Hold a Type 1 Transporter Authorisation. Anyone transporting any live vertebrate animals inside the European Union on journeys of over 65 kilometres (approximately 40 miles) as part of an economic activity must hold a valid Authorisation to do so.
  • Demonstrate that you have appropriate staff and equipment to transport animals in a proper way, and to have no record of conviction for serious infringements of animal welfare legislation or Home Office Simple Cautions in the preceding three years.

Full details can be found on the Defra website


Guidance notes on Transporter Authorisations can be found on the link below:


Application forms for Type 1 T.A will be available here.


Certificate of Competence

Ensure that drivers and attendants are in possession of a Certificate of Competence. Since January 2008, those transporting cattle, sheep, goats, pigs, horses and poultry by road on journeys over 65km in connection with an economic activity must be independently assessed in their competence. Those assessed as competent will receive a certificate of competence. The certificate will be specific to the role the transporter or attendant is charged with, the length of journeys to be undertaken and the species to be transported. The Certificate of Competence is valid for five years and does not apply to those catching and putting birds into crates.

A list of the assessment centre’s offering the certificate of competence can be viewed using the following link. http://www.nptc.org.uk/centredefault.aspx

A basic overview of the Certificate of Competence for short and long journeys can be viewed via the following links:


Long Distance Transport of Animals by Road Information Sheet

Long journeys* (over eight hours)

There are additional requirements for those transporting gamebirds on ‘long’ journeys of over eight hours.

You must:

  • Hold a Type 2 transporter authorisation.
  • Have contingency plans in place in case of emergencies.

Guidance notes

Application form

For more information

BASC Game and gamekeeping Team – 01244 573019

Animal Health’s Welfare in Transport Helpline on: 0845 603 8395 or email wit@animalhealth.gsi.gov.uk

The Defra booklet “Welfare of Animals During Transport – Advice for Transporters of Poultry” can be found here


* Journey Time does not include time spent loading and unloading birds

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