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Department announces details of Transport Regulation

The Department of Agriculture and Food confirmed that the new rules provided for in the EU Transport Regulation came into force throughout the European Union on 5 January 2007.

These rules are aimed at ensuring that the welfare of animals, including cattle, horses, pigs and sheep, are protected during transport. The Regulation contains provisions relating to staff at marts and assembly centres also.

The Regulation sets down requirements for the transport of animals for three categories of journeys:

  • long journeys over 8 hours;
  • journeys over 65 kilometres and under 8 hours; and
  • journeys of less than 65 kilometres.

Transporters of animals on journeys over 8 hours, which are mostly international transporters, must be authorised. From 2008, drivers and people looking after the animals must hold a certificate of competence verifying completion of a training programme. Vehicles must meet acceptable standards in relation to a range of specifications including insulation, ventilation and navigation equipment. International transporters must comply with journey log procedures also.

Commercial persons transporting animals over 65km must also be authorised and drivers must carry documentation relating to the animals and the journey. Drivers and persons looking after animals on such journeys will require a certificate of competence verifying completion of a training programme from 2008. Farmers using their own vehicles in this category will be deemed to have a satisfactory level of competence and will be issued with an explanatory leaflet on the care and welfare on animals during transport. A simplified application procedure for authorisations will apply for farmers transporting their own animals.

Minimum provisions relating to welfare apply during transport of animals under 65 km. Persons transporting animals in this category do not require an authorisation or to undergo any specific training.

A number of exemptions are provided for in the Regulation including exemptions for transport of animals to shows or to a veterinary clinic and the transport of a mare during the foaling heat. Furthermore the completion of journey logs and installation of navigation equipment are not required for the transport of registered horses on long journeys.

Further details on implementation of the Transport Regulation are available from the National Beef Assurance Division, Department of Agriculture and Food, Maynooth Business Campus, Maynooth, Co. Kildare, Tel: 01 5053400; Fax: 01 5053515 or email: transport@agriculture.gov.ie.

19 January, 2007

Date Released: 19 January 2007