Publication - Advice and guidance

Pet animal transport: guidance

Published: 20 Aug 2014

Guidance for owners and carriers on the welfare of pet animals in transit.

Pet animal transport: guidance
Acceptance, check-in/reception

Acceptance, check-in/reception

Carriers should establish with port/airport terminal operators appropriate arrangements for pets waiting for check-in or embarkation. These arrangements should take account:

  • the length of time that a pet has to wait at check-in for embarkation, which should be minimised so far as is practicable. A vehicle or container with an animal in it should not have to wait for a long period in a hot or sunny position, nor be subjected to extreme cold. A shaded or sheltered place as appropriate should be made available wherever possible
  • animals should never be left in vehicles in direct strong sunshine and/or high temperatures as it is difficult to ensure adequate ventilation
  • pet animals should be given the opportunity to urinate and defecate shortly before being confined and embarked for travel. It is recommended that an 'exercise area' for this purpose should be available to travellers
  • where a carrier becomes aware of any verhicle or container with a pet inside which has been left unattended by the passenger, particularly where vehicle windows are closed or there otherwise appears to be insufficient ventilation, the pet owner should be contacted as soon as possible and asked to remedy the situation

Once checked-in the pet animal will normally remain under the direct supervision of its owner until embarkation. However, for air transport the carrier will have taken responsibility once accepted at check-in.