G8: Transport of animals

Transport of animals:

When transporting animals, the Animal Welfare Act, the Transport Ordinance, and specific orders on the transport of animals apply. Animals must never suffer harm during a transport, and it does not matter how far the animals must be transported. The rules for transporting animals are different depending on which animals are involved, as well as how far and in which connection they must be transported.

Other countries:

The interpretation of the rules may vary in different countries, just as there may be special national rules. If you are to transport animals in other countries, it is therefore important to check in advance which rules and interpretations apply in the relevant countries.

Authorization for the transport of animals:

If you transport vertebrate animals in connection with economic activity, you must have an authorization as a starting point. There are different requirements depending on whether you must carry out transports of more than or less than 8 hours. You can therefore get authorization for short transports under 8 hours, or authorization for long transports over 8 hours. If you want to make both short and long hauls, you must have an authorization for long hauls.

You do not need authorization if:

• you are transporting animals over no more than 65 km

• you are self-driving, which means that you transport your own animals in your own means of transport at distance less than 50 km from your herd, or

If you are covered by the requirement for authorization, there is also a requirement for training in the transport of animals, just as there is a requirement that the vehicle is visually approved for the transport of animals.

Authorization to transport animals is issued by the Danish Veterinary and Food Administration, and the authorization must be presented when you transport animals.

If a transport company has been guilty of serious violations of EU and/or national legislation on the protection of animals in the previous three years, authorization cannot be issued unless the applicant explains how further violations can be avoided.

Training in the transport of animals:

As a transport company, you must ensure that people who handle animals in connection with transport have completed part 1 (basic training) of AMU’s training in animal transport or another basic course in animal transport that has been approved by the Danish Veterinary and Food Administration.

Persons who must drive or act as attendants on road vehicles transporting horses, cattle, sheep, goats, pigs, or poultry must have acquired a certificate of competence in transporting animals.

This requires that, in addition to part 1 (the basic training), you also complete and pass part 2 (the certificate of competence training) of AMU’s training in animal transport. Here you can choose between training in the transport of all animal species or shortened courses in the transport of horses or sheep and goats.

Visual approval of vehicles for the transport of animals:

If you transport animals for a duration of more than 8 hours, you must always have an approval certificate for means of road transport for long transports of animals.

If you transport horses, cattle, calves, pigs of 40 kg and over, goats, sheep, and lambs in Denmark for a duration of less than 8 hours, you must have an approval certificate for road transport means for short transports of animals.

Approval of road transport means for the transport of animals and issuing of approval certificates is carried out by approved inspection companies. Approval certificates are valid for a maximum of 5 years.

Conditions for animals during transport:

Animals must not be harmed during transport.

Even under good transport conditions, many animals will experience some discomfort because it is an unfamiliar situation for them. If the animals are treated incorrectly, or the conditions during transport are not good, the animals can become stressed and scared. The animals can react violently if they panic. It is therefore important that the conditions during transport do not burden the animals unnecessarily.

The transport must take place in such a way that the animals do not suffer or are exposed to dangers. There must not be too many animals on the means of transport.

The animals must be properly looked after during the transport, for example by knowing that, for some transports, they are given feed and water. If some of them become ill or are injured along the way, they must be treated by a veterinarian if necessary. If necessary, the animals must be euthanized so that they do not suffer during further transport.

Ventilation and careful driving:

There must be sufficient space and proper ventilation. The animals must be protected from wind, cold, rain and sunshine. When unloading and loading, when driving on uneven roads, when turning and when starting and braking, caution and consideration for the animals must be exercised. The same applies if the animals are transported in containers.


It is a basic condition for the transport of animals that they must be suitable for the planned shipment. It is basically the producer and the transporter themselves who must check that the animals are suitable for transport.

Drivers and attendants are trained, among other things, in the provisions on the suitability of animals for transport and should therefore be equipped to carry out an assessment of animals to be transported, but certain of the transport regulation’s provisions on suitability for transport are more difficult to use in practice than others.

To address doubts about the suitability for transport assessment, the Danish Veterinary and Food Administration has prepared a guide that describes the four most known ailments that can cause an animal to be unsuitable for transport, and further guidelines are being prepared.