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Guidance on transport of animals by air
1.1 This Guidance has been prepared to assist with uniform application of Council Regulation (EC) 1/2005 on the protection of animals during transport and related operations (The Regulation) as it applies to live animal shipments carried in aircraft. The Welfare of Animals (Transport) Regulation (NI) 2006 provides for enforcement of the Regulation, and other related provisions.
1.2 Enforcement of the Regulation is the responsibility of DARD Veterinary Service in Northern Ireland and Local Authorities (usually Trading Standards or Animal Health Officers) and the State Veterinary Service in GB.
1.3 The Regulation is directly applicable in all EU Member States with effect from 5 January 2007.
1.4 The complexities of the Regulation result in different requirements according to journey length, method of transport, and the species of animal. Some provisions and technical requirements for particular journeys are not entirely clear.
1.5 Technical Guidance for live animal shipments by air is given in order to consolidate relevant requirements into one place, and to assist with clarification of what DARD considers to be practical application and enforcement of the Regulation. However only a court of law will be able to give a definitive ruling concerning any matter in dispute between enforcers and transporters.
1.6 This Guidance focuses primarily on commercial air shipments of Farm Animals and Horses, but also covers transport of all other vertebrate species. A Defra booklet about “Protecting the welfare of pet dogs and cats during journeys - Advice to owners” gives guidance about these animals. This can be seen at http://www.defra.gov.uk/animalh/welfare/pdf/dogs-catswelfare.pdf
1.7 Requirements set out here and in the Appendix are, for clarity of meaning, sometimes a précis of the legal wording in the Regulation. Not every provision has been included. The text of the Regulation should always be consulted.
2.1 The Regulation is directly applicable, in all EU Member States, with effect from 5 January 2007.
2.2 Regulation only applies to transport “in connection with an economic activity” (Article 1.5) (commercial transport). Examples are given in part 1 of this guidance to assist with determination of the meaning of “economic activity”.
2.3 Transport of animals outside the scope of the Regulation is also regulated by the Welfare of Animals (Transport) Order 2006. The general principles of this guidance for air shipments should nevertheless be followed, as appropriate to the species, in order to comply with the requirement to protect the welfare of these animals during transport.
3.1 The Regulation defines a ‘Means of Transport’ as road or rail vehicles, vessels and aircraft used for the transport of animals (Article 2 (n)).
3.2 There is no requirement for inspection and approval of aircraft, air containers, or their fittings, before they are used to carry animals. However, the Competent Authority(Enforcement Officers may decide to carry out appropriate checks at any stage of a long journey (see 3.8) (Article 15.1 & Article 21(d)) in order to verify that the journey and the means of transport comply with the Regulation.
3.3 All ‘Means of Transport’, including aircraft when carrying animals, must comply with the general provisions of the Regulation, as applicable, in Annex I Chapters II and III.
3.4 Container is defined (Article 2 (g)) as any crate, box, receptacle or other rigid structure which is not a means of transport.
3.5 Containers for animals must comply with the provisions of the Regulation in Annex I Chapters II and III, as well as with the International Air Transport Association (IATA) Live Animals Regulations (LAR) (Annex I, Ch. II, 4.1) see Appendix.
3.6 When domestic cattle sheep goats and pigs (Farm Animals) and domestic equidae (Horses and Ponies etc.) are being transported on a long journey (see 3.8) the additional provisions in Annex I Chapter VI, where appropriate, must also be complied with.
3.7 ‘Journey’ is defined (Article 2 (j)) as the entire transport of the animals between places of departure and destination. This includes transport to and from the airport, and the time the animals spend there.
3.8 ‘Long Journey’ is defined (Article 2 (m)) as one that exceeds 8 hours from when the first animal is moved (i.e. loaded at the point of origin). Most air transport of animals is likely to be part of a long journey.
3.9 In order to fully protect the welfare of all animals being transported by air additional precautions and guidance (based on practical experience) should be followed and has been included in the Appendix.
4.1 Every person involved with the commercial transport of animals has a responsibility (Article 3) as appropriate to their role in planning, organising, and carrying out the journey – to comply with the Regulation and to protect the welfare of the animals, in particular not to cause them injury or undue suffering. In the case of air transport such responsibility may be broadly, but not exclusively, described as follows.
4.2 Animal shippers (i.e. those who arrange for animals to be transported from one place to another) must plan the journey and have contingency arrangements in place should any delay occur. Examples might be delayed loading onto the aircraft; or its late departure caused by adverse weather or mechanical failure. They must ensure that the animal container or aircraft fittings are suitable and conform to the appropriate IATA LAR Container Requirement, that the aircraft operator is prepared to carry live animals, and that water feed and rest intervals for the animals can be complied with.
4.3 Aircraft owners/charterers/operators must ensure that the aircraft has suitable facilities for transport of animals by air, and that the aircraft commander, loadmaster and aircrew (as appropriate) are competent in and have specific instructions for air transport of animals.
4.4 Commanders, and loadmasters and aircrew under their authority must ensure that the aircraft and equipment are suitable for carriage of the animals concerned in the manner intended. They must ensure that the animals are loaded, carried and unloaded in a way which will protect their welfare. In particular they must ensue that the animals are accommodated in accordance with the IATA LAR, and that an appropriate environment of air quality and quantity, temperature and pressure is maintained whilst the animals are on the aircraft (Annex I Ch. II, 1.1(e)).
4.5 Airport ground-staff and Handling Agents must ensure that animal welfare is protected whilst the animals are waiting to be loaded onto the aircraft, or awaiting collection after unloading from the aircraft, and whilst being moved within the airport.
4.6 Attendants when accompanying animals during the flight must ensure, so far as possible taking into account access to animals and control of the conditions, that the welfare of the animals is protected. If unsuitable environmental conditions are noted, or other problems arise with the animals, the attendant should communicate with the aircrew and attempt to resolve the matter as quickly as possible.
5 Authorisation of transporters
5.1 All Transporters, defined as ‘any natural or legal person transporting animals on his own account, or for the account of a third party’ (Article 2(x)) must be authorised by the Competent Authority (Article 6.1) where the journey exceeds 65km (Article 6.7).
5.2 Authorisations are valid for not more than 5 years, and must be either for journeys up to 8 hours (‘Type 1’) (Article 10) or for long journeys (‘Type 2’) (Article 11). See section 3 in Part 1 of this guidance for detailed advice about
5.3 In the case of air shipments (which are assumed to form part of a long journey) the Airline or aircraft operator/charterer will require a ‘Type 2’ authorisation where the flight is of more than 65 km, and the journey and the animals carried are within the scope of the Regulation.
6 Animal attendants – competence and training
6.1 Transporters (see 5.1) must ensure that an attendant accompanies the animals (Article 6.6). This could be a person provided by the shipper or a member of the aircrew.
6.2 The only exception to the requirement for an attendant is when the animals are in containers which are secured, adequately ventilated and, where necessary, contain enough food and water, in dispensers which cannot be tipped over, for a journey of twice the anticipated journey time (Article 6.6(a). The meaning of ‘secured’ is unclear, but we understand it to refer to its being closed to prevent the escape of animals, rather than secured to the aircraft.
6.3 Transporters must ensure that personnel responsible for animals during transport have received training in relevant parts of the Regulation’s Annexes I and II (Article 6.4). Training may be by any suitable method.
6.4 The Commander, loadmaster and aircrew must be trained in and be competent to perform their duties with respect to carriage of animals as appropriate to their individual role in the operation. There is no requirement for any certificate of competence, but evidence of training may help the transporter to be sure that Article 6 has been fulfilled.
6.5 The animal attendant (if any) must be trained in and be competent to perform their duties with respect to carriage of the animals being transported as appropriate to their actual role in the operation. Evidence of training for attendants may help the transporter to be sure that Article 6 has been fulfilled.
6.6 Airport ground-staff and Handling Agents responsible for animals between delivery to or collection from the airport and loading or unloading from the aircraft should be trained in, and competent to perform, their role in protecting animal welfare.
6.7 See section 4 of Part 1 of this guidance for detailed advice about competence and training.