Horse transporter authorisation.
A valid transporter authorisation is required if your business transports horses on journeys longer than 65 kilometres (about 40 miles). The type of authorisation you need depends on the total duration of your journeys.
Type 1. Journeys over 65 kilometres and under eight hours
If your horses journey time will be a short journey under eight hours, a Type 1 transporter authorisation is required. Requirements for a Type 1 authorisation:
- have an established or representative business in the UK
- can show you have the staff, equipment and procedures in place to meet the rules for animal welfare during transport
- have no record of a serious animal welfare conviction or Home Office Simple Caution in the three years leading up to your application
- have valid certificates of competence for drivers and handlers if required - see below
Type 2. Journeys over eight hours
If your horses journey times will be a long journey exceeding eight hours, a Type 2 transporter authorisation is required. In addition to the above requirements, you will also need to provide:
- valid vehicle/container approval certificates if required - see below
- details of procedures enabling you to trace and record the movement of road vehicles under your responsibility, and to contact the driver at any time
- details of contingency plans in the event of an emergency
Training and competence certification for animal transporters
Individual drivers or handlers responsible for transporting horses must have had some form of training on the relevant animal welfare rules. The type of training required varies according to the distances, and journey durations.
Training for journeys less than 65 kilometres
The training doesn’t have to involve a formal qualification. It’s acceptable for skills to be gained through a combination of on-the-job instruction and practical experience. Training should cover:
- fitness for travel
- means of transport and use of its facilities
- loading, unloading and handling
- watering and feeding intervals
- journey times and rest periods
- space allowances
Certificates of competence for journeys over 65 kilometres
Drivers or attendants responsible for transporting horses over 65 kilometres must hold a relevant certificate of competence, which should be available at request. These are independently assessed qualifications specific to the person’s role - ie driver or attendant. The duration of journeys involved is also a factor in the qualification. The person taking the qualification can include:
- those involved in journeys of under eight hours (they can be assessed by a theory test)
- those involved in journeys over eight hours (they must also pass a practical assessment)
Defra has authorised several independent organisations to carry out assessments and award certificates.
Inspection and approval of animal transportation vehicles
Vehicle inspection and approval is a legal requirement where journeys are over eight hours and involve transporting unregistered horses and ponies.
Inspection and approval requirements also extend to trailers used to transport.
Additionally, you must have your vehicle inspected and approved to transport registered horses and ponies if either of the following apply:
- the journey will exceed eight hours and pass through and/or deliver to an EU country where valid approval certificates are a requirement
- the journey will exceed 12 hours
Satellite navigation and tracking systems
Vehicles used to transport unregistered domestic equidae on long journeys must be equipped with a satellite navigation tracking system. In the UK, this legal requirement currently applies to:
- export/dispatch journeys that exceed eight hours
- journeys that exceed 12 hours
Ventilation and temperature monitoring
Vehicles used to transport domestic equidae for export journeys over eight hours or journeys over 12 hours must have special ventilation and temperature monitoring equipment. The functionality of this equipment must include:
- sensors to monitor and record the temperature within the animal compartment, positioned where conditions are likely to be worst
- the ability to maintain the temperature within the animal compartment between 5°C and 30°C (+/- 5°C)
- a warning system to alert the driver if the temperature in the animal compartment reaches the maximum or minimum limit
- a ventilation system with a minimum airflow of nominal capacity of 60 cubic metres per hour per kilo Newton of payload that can operate independently of the vehicle engine for at least four hours
Registered and Unregistered horses
Rules for transporting horses and ponies vary depending on whether the animal is registered or unregistered. A registered horse or pony is one that’s on the stud book of a recognised breed society or registered with an international organisation that manages equestrian competitions. You should note that an equine is not classed as ‘registered’ simply because it holds a horse passport.
Registered horses are exempt from many of the major controls on horse transportation, including maximum journey times, rest periods and Journey Logs.
If you wish to transport unregistered horses to another country on journeys over eight hours, a Journey Log must be completed.
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 a Journey Log which includes the details of the consignment and the planned journey is submitted for approval to the AHVLA Office where the journey will begin. A copy of the completed log must be submitted to the same office within a month of the journey’s completion.