Council Regulation on Transport and Handling

Council regulation (EC) no 1/2005: on the protection of animals during transport and related operations

This is a European regulation but still applies to UK. It is very general and broad as it applies to the transportation of nearly all animals across the EU.

This is an overview of the legislation sections that are relevant to the transportation, loading and unloading of the MBR Beagles.

1. This Regulation shall apply to the transport of live vertebrate animals carried out within the Community, including the specific checks to be carried out by officials on consignments entering or leaving the customs territory of the Community.


Article 3: General conditions for the transport of animals

No person shall transport animals or cause animals to be transported in a way likely to cause injury or undue suffering to them.

In addition, the following conditions shall be complied with:

  • all necessary arrangements have been made in advance to minimise the length of the journey and meet animals’ needs during the journey;
  • the animals are fit for the journey;
  • the means of transport are designed, constructed, maintained and operated so as to avoid injury and suffering and ensure the safety of the animals;
  • the loading and unloading facilities are adequately designed, constructed, maintained and operated so as to avoid injury and suffering and ensure the safety of the animals;
  • the personnel handling animals are trained or competent as appropriate for this purpose and carry out their tasks without using violence or any method likely to cause unnecessary fear, injury or suffering;
  • the transport is carried out without delay to the place of destination and the welfare conditions of the animals are regularly checked and appropriately maintained;
  • sufficient floor area and height is provided for the animals, appropriate to their size and the intended journey;
  • water, feed and rest are offered to the animals at suitable intervals and are appropriate in quality and quantity to their species and size.


Article 4: Transport documentation

No person shall transport animals without carrying documentation in the means of transport stating:

  • their origin and their ownership;
  • their place of departure;
  • the date and time of departure;
  • their intended place of destination;
  • the expected duration of the intended journey.

The transporter shall make the documentation available to the competent authority upon request.

The competent authorities in the UK are Trading Standards, their officials allegedly carry out welfare checks on animals and means of transport. And the Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA), who also allegedly carries out enforcement checks. They enforce compliance with journey times through checks of journey documentation.

The competent authorities in the UK are Trading Standards, their officials carry out welfare checks on animals and means of transport. And the Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA), who also carries out enforcement checks.

Article 5 : Planning obligations for the transport of animals

  1. No person shall contract or subcontract the transport of animals except to transporters authorised in accordance with Article 10(1) or Article 11(1) .
  2. Transporters shall identify a natural person responsible for the transport and ensure that information on the planning, execution and completion of the part of the journey under their control can be obtained at any time.
  3. Transporters shall transport animals in accordance with the technical rules set out in Annex I.
  4. Transporters shall entrust the handling of the animals to personnel who have received training on the relevant provisions of Annexes I and II
  5. Transporters shall ensure that an attendant accompanies any consignment of animals except in the following cases:
  • (a) where animals are transported in containers which are secured, adequately ventilated and, where necessary, contain enough food and water, in dispensers which cannot be tipped over, for a journey of twice the anticipated journey time;
  • (b) where the driver performs the functions of attendant.

Transporters shall make available the certificate of approval as provided for in Article 18(2) or Article 19(2) to the competent authority of the country to which animals are transported.

APHA is the competent authority. It regulates the paperwork required for animal transportation:

  • Transporter authorisations
  • Animal transport certificates


Article 10: Requirements for transporter authorisation

  1. The competent authority shall grant authorisations to transporters provided that:
    • the applicants are established, or in case of applicants established in a third country, are represented, in the Member State where they apply for authorisation;
    • the applicants have demonstrated that they have sufficient and appropriate staff, equipment and operational procedures at their disposal to enable them to comply with this Regulation, including where appropriate Good Practice Guides;


Article 27: Inspections and annual reports by the competent authorities

Member States shall submit to the Commission by 31 August each year an annual report for the previous year on the inspections carried by the competent authority to verify compliance with the requirements of this Regulation. The report shall be accompanied by an analysis of the major deficiencies detected and an action plan to address them.




  1. No animal shall be transported unless it is fit for the intended journey, and all animals shall be transported in conditions guaranteed not to cause them injury or unnecessary suffering.


Provisions for all means of transport

Means of transport, containers and their fittings shall be designed, constructed, maintained and operated so as to:

  • avoid injury and suffering and to ensure the safety of the animals;
  • protect the animals from inclement weather, extreme temperatures and adverse changes in climatic conditions;
  • be cleaned and disinfected;
  • prevent the animals escaping or falling out and be able to withstand the stresses of movements;
  • ensure that air quality and quantity appropriate to the species transported can be maintained;
  • provide access to the animals to allow them to be inspected and cared for;
  • present a flooring surface that is anti-slip;
  • present a flooring surface that minimises the leakage of urine or faeces;
  • provide a means of lighting sufficient for inspection and care of the animals during transport.
  • Sufficient space shall be provided inside the animals’ compartment and at each of its levels to ensure that there is adequate ventilation above the animals when they are in a naturally standing position, without on any account hindering their natural movement.

Additional provisions for transport in containers

  • Containers in which animals are transported shall be clearly and visibly marked, indicating the presence of live animals and with a sign indicating the top of the container.
  • During transport and handling, containers shall always be kept upright and severe jolts or shaking shall be minimised. Containers shall be secured so as to prevent displacement due to the movement of the means of transport.


Loading, unloading and handling

Facilities for loading and unloading, including the flooring, shall be designed, constructed, maintained and operated so as to:

  • prevent injury and suffering and minimise excitement and distress during animal movements as well as to ensure the safety of the animals. In particular, surfaces shall not be slippery and lateral protections shall be provided so as to prevent animals from escaping;
  • be cleaned and disinfected.

When containers loaded with animals are placed one on top of the other on the means of transport, the necessary precautions shall be taken:

  • to avoid, or in the case of poultry, rabbits and fur animals, to limit urine and faeces falling on the animals placed underneath;
  • to ensure stability of the containers;
  • to ensure that ventilation is not impeded.

During transport:

Sufficient ventilation shall be provided to ensure that the needs of the animals are fully met taking into account in particular the number and type of the animals to be transported and the expected weather conditions during the journey. Containers shall be stored in a way which does not impede their ventilation.


Dogs and cats being transported shall be fed at intervals of not more than 24 hours and given water at intervals of not more than eight hours. There shall be clear written instructions about feeding and watering.