Dog being transported in a transport cage

animal transport at eu level

What legislation exists for animal transport in the EU? 


The Animal Health Law and the Regulation on the protection of animals during transport establish the framework for the protection of animals during transport. 

The Regulation (EC) 1/2005 on the protection of animals during transport aims to provide a level playing field for operators, while ensuring sufficient protection for the animals being transported. The content and impact of the Regulation have been discussed in scientific opinions from the European Food Safety Authority, however, there are almost no specific provisions for the transport of cats and dogs. Due to this, the EU Platform on Animal Welfare has established a Voluntary Initiative Subgroup to safeguard the Health and Welfare of Pets (with focus on dogs) in Trade. In addition, the subgroup has produced guidelines to address all aspects of the health and welfare of cats and dogs during commercial movement. 

The Animal Health Law (Art. 87) and Delegated Regulation (Art. 3) include some provisions related to the transport of cats, dogs and ferrets/, transporters moving cats, dogs and ferrets between Member States, and Member States and third countries shall register with the competent authority by providing the following: name and address of transporter, categories, species, number of animals to be transported, type and means of transport, changes and cessation of activity. The Animal Health Law (Art. 93&101) further requires the creation and upkeeping of registers of transporters by the competent authority. These registers need to be made available to the authorities of other Member States and the Commission. The Delegated Regulation specifies which information is to be entered in the national registry of transporters (Art.19): unique registration number, date of registration, name, address of operator, type, means of transport, species, categories, number of animals to be transported, date of cessation of activity.

EU legislation also establishes a record-keeping obligation (paper or electronically) for transporters. They need to keep record of species, categories, number of animals, license plate number/registration number, dates and times of loading/unloading at the establishment of origin/destination, name, address, registration/approval number of each establishment visited, dates and places of cleaning, disinfection, reference numbers of the animals’ accompanying documents according to Animal Health Law (Art. 104) and Delegated Regulation (Art. 34).

Cat in transport bag