New rules safeguard animal welfare during transport

NEW rules governing the welfare of animals being transported for commercial reasons come into force in Jersey as from the beginning of February.The new regulations mean anyone moving animals by car or van, plane or boat, as part of their job, or to sell them, must have authorisation from the Animal Health and Welfare Section at the Department of the Environment. The authorisation, which lasts for five years, will ensure people use transport that safeguards animal welfare, in line with EU laws in place since 2007. There are two different types of authorisation; one for short journeys and one for long journeys. Short journeys are considered to be over 65km and up to eight hours. Long journeys are over eight hours. A ‘long’ journey authorisation is also valid for ‘short’ journeys, so it’s only necessary to apply for one of them. A number of conditions will now apply to the transportation of animals on long journeys. Drivers and attendants carrying farm livestock, including horses and poultry must be trained and they must carry a certificate of competence. For long journeys transporting cattle, sheep, goats, pigs, and members of the horse family, the vehicles and containers must be designed, made and operated to avoid injury and suffering to the animals, and must be inspected and approved. For other species if the journey is going to be more than 12 hours, the UK authorities require vehicles to be approved. Some EU States require approval if the journey’s over eight hours. For all journeys, there must be a backup plan in place in case of emergencies.

No need for authorisation The rules don’t apply to any journeys less than 65km, so won’t apply to any journeys in Jersey. The rules also don’t apply to pets being transported by their owners on a private journey, but owners must still make sure their animals are well cared for during transportation. Journeys to or from veterinary clinics carried out under veterinary supervision are also exempt.