Animal Health & Welfare

Transporting livestock by road: paperwork


In the guide

There are strict rules about the paperwork that needs to be held by those who transport animals as part of a business

This guidance is for Wales

It is essential that those transporting animals on journeys of more than 65km (about 40 miles) as part of an economic activity hold a valid transporter authorisation to do so and carry it with them on the journey.

Farmers, transporters and attendants using road vehicles for transporting farm animals, which includes poultry and horses, in connection with an economic activity must have received appropriate training and gained the certificate of competence to transport farm animals. The certificate of competence is issued by an independent body nominated by the Welsh government.

An animal transport certificate (ATC) must be completed for every journey unless an exemption is met.

Transporter authorisations

Anyone transporting animals on journeys of more than 65km as part of an economic activity must hold a valid transporter authorisation to do so.

There are two types of authorisation:

  • type 1. A short journey authorisation for journeys longer than 65km and up to and including eight hours duration
  • type 2. A long journey authorisation that covers all journeys, including those over eight hours duration

Anyone transporting animals must carry their transporter authorisation, or a copy of it, and produce it upon the request of animal health and welfare inspectors or trading standards officers.

Transporter authorisation certificates will be issued in Great Britain by the Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA) and more information on welfare during transportation is available on the GOV.UK website.

A transporter authorisation will last for five years unless revoked or suspended. Conditions may be imposed upon an individual's transporter authorisation at any time within this period if there are infringements of EU Regulation (EC) No 1/2005 on the protection of animals during transport and related operations or the Welfare of Animals (Transport) (Wales) Order 2007. From 2017 transporters will need to re-apply every five years as there will be no automatic renewals.

How to apply

Transporter authorisation application forms for both type 1 and type 2 authorisations are available on the GOV.UK website or in writing to:

Welfare in Transport Team, Animal and Plant Health Agency, Centre for International Trade, Eden Bridge House, Lowther Street, Carlisle, CA3 8DX
Tel: 03000 200 301 (option 4, then option 3, then option 5), email:

Certificate of competence / training of drivers & attendants

Farmers, transporters or attendants using road vehicles for transporting farm animals, poultry or horses in connection with an economic activity must have received appropriate training. They must also hold a certificate of competence issued by an independent body nominated by Welsh government. This replaces the previous requirement for certification by employers or self-assessment of self-employed transporters / farmers.

The certificate of competence training covers the following areas:

  • protection of animals during transit
  • animal physiology, animal behaviour and the concept of stress
  • practical aspects of handling animals
  • impact of driving behaviour on the welfare of the transported animals and on the quality of meat
  • emergency care for animals
  • safety considerations for personnel handling animals

Details of the independent body designated by the Welsh government to undertake assessments for competence and award competence certificates are available on the Welsh government website; the GOV.UK website also contains information on training and competence certification

Animal transport certificates

Animal transport certificates (ATC) are required for all journeys of any species of farmed animal over any distance and duration.

Exemptions from this requirement include:

  • journeys involving exported farm livestock or unregistered domestic equidae (horses) on journeys over eight hours; in these cases a journey log is required instead. The purpose of a journey log is to ensure such journeys are properly planned, with the required rest stops along the way, and without exceeding maximum journey times. The first section of the journey log must be submitted to the Welfare in Transport Team (contact details above) and a copy of the completed log must be submitted to the same office within a month of the journey's completion. 
  • farmers transporting their own animals, by their own means of transport, on journeys of up to 50km (about 31 miles) from their holding

The following information must be recorded on an animal transport certificate:

  • origin and ownership of animals
  • place of departure
  • place of destination
  • date and time of departure
  • expected duration of journey

A template form can be found on the GOV.UK website (scroll down to 'Animal transport certificates').

An animal movement licence form for sheep and goats (AML1) and pigs (eAML2 / haulier summary) may be used as an animal transport certificate for those animals providing all sections on the form are completed.


Failure to comply with the requirements of the Welfare of Animals (Transport) (Wales) Order 2007 is an offence under the Animal Health Act 1981. The maximum penalty is a fine and two years' imprisonment. 

Key legislation

Last reviewed / updated: October 2017

Please note

This information is intended for guidance; only the courts can give an authoritative interpretation of the law.

The guide's 'Key legislation' links may only show the original version of the legislation, although some amending legislation is linked to separately where it is directly related to the content of a guide. Information on amendments to UK legislation can be found on each link's 'More Resources' tab; amendments to EU legislation are usually incorporated into the text.

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