Commercial animal transport: guidance

Guidance on the welfare of commercial animals in transport.

Welfare of commercial animals in transport

Our objective is to ensure high standards of welfare for transported animals; they should be treated in a humane and caring way at all stages of a journey. This requires well-maintained vehicles, designed with the welfare of animals in mind, and sympathetic handling by properly trained and competent personnel.

If you have any reason for concern about the treatment of an animal during transport please bring it to the attention staff at your nearest Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA) office.


Council Regulation (EC) No 1/2005 aims to improve animal welfare during transport through raising transportation standards and in particular provides improvements in enforcement capability.

It replaced the Welfare of Animals (Transport) Order (WATO) 1997.

Whilst most of the animal welfare requirements remained the same as required under WATO '97, the key changes included the need for specific authorisations for all transporters moving animals over 65km, the inspection and approval of vehicles undertaking long journeys and driver competency certification.

Further guidance is available on

The Welfare of Animals (Transport) (Scotland) Regulations 2006 provide the necessary national legislation to allow for the administration and enforcement of the EC Regulation. They also provide for derogations (in respect of road journeys within GB which don't exceed 12 hours) from:

  • pigs requiring continuous access to water
  • the need for insulated roofs
  • the need to meet temperature requirements and the need for ventilation systems
  • temperature monitoring systems and navigation systems


More information:

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