Improvements to animal welfare in transport

Closed 25 Feb 2021

Opened 3 Dec 2020


The current rules aimed at protecting animal welfare in transport are derived from directly applicable EU law, Council Regulation No 1/2005. The Regulation sets out the requirements that anyone transporting animals in connection with an economic activity must comply with. There are growing concerns that the current requirements for the transport of animals do not reflect the latest scientific evidence on how best to protect animal welfare during transport.

We are consulting in England and Wales on ending live animal exports for slaughter and fattening that begin in or transit through England or Wales, and further improvements to animal welfare in transport.

Why your views matter

The Government is committed to the welfare of all animals and to making further improvements to animal welfare in transport and has a manifesto commitment to end excessively long journeys for slaughter and fattening. Now that the UK has left the EU, the Government can explore alternative options to better protect animal welfare during transport. As part of changing the current regulatory regime that sets the standards for animals in transport, it is right that we should gather the views of all interested parties.

The Farm Animal Welfare Committee (FAWC, now known as the Animal Welfare Committee) have reported to the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs on the welfare of animals during transport. This report took into account the responses to the 2018 Call for Evidence on controlling live exports for slaughter and improving animal welfare during transport, and the scientific systematic review conducted by the Scotland’s Rural College and the University of Edinburgh on the welfare of animals during transport and at markets.

The Government has reviewed the FAWC report and is now consulting to seek views on ending the export of livestock and horses (this will not apply to poultry) for slaughter and fattening in England and Wales, where the journeys begin in or transit through either country, in addition to introducing further improvements to animal welfare in transport more generally.

What happens next

This consultation has now closed. Thank you for your input. We will summarise all responses. This summary will include a list of names of organisations that respond but not people’s personal names, addresses or other contact details. 


  • Charities/Voluntary Organisations
  • Environmental campaigners
  • Animal welfare campaigners
  • Trade Unions
  • Government Departments
  • Government Agencies
  • Local Authorities
  • Consumer Groups
  • Policy Teams
  • Transport Organisations
  • Veterinarians
  • Local Authorities
  • All Defra staff and ALBs
  • Member of the General Public
  • Farmers
  • Tenant Farmers
  • Agricultural Landlords
  • Public Bodies
  • Stakeholders


  • Animals
  • Consultations
  • Impact Assessments
  • DEFRA Policy
  • Cattle
  • Pigs
  • Poultry
  • Sheep and goats
  • Animal welfare