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
  • documentation

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.

14th July 2016

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