Start now on the Department of Agriculture, Environment, Rural Affairs (DAERA) website
In Northern Ireland, you need transporter authorisation from the Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs (DAERA) to transport animals on journeys of over 65 kilometres for business purposes.
If all of the journeys will last for 8 hours or less, you need a short journey authorisation.
If any journey might take longer than 8 hours, or if you transport animals by sea or air, you need a long journey authorisation.
If you transport horses, livestock or poultry by road only, your drivers or attendants must also hold a Certificate of Competence.
For long journeys you will also need a vehicle approval certificate.
As a livestock farmer, you should have received a book of movement documents from DAERA. You will need to complete a movement document every time you move animals - unless you are moving them to a slaughterhouse, market or show.
There are specific rules for transporting each species. You can find out more on the DAERA website.
Authorisation lasts for 5 years. If your circumstances change, you must tell DAERA within 15 working days.
You must have:
- a business established in Northern Ireland
- equipment and procedures in place for the safe transport of animals
- staff with appropriate training
- no convictions for animal welfare offences in the last 3 years (both you and your staff)
For long journeys, you must:
- include the names of your drivers or attendants on your application form
- trace and record vehicle movements
- have plans in place to deal with emergencies
Fines and penalties
If you don’t get authorisation or follow any conditions, you can be fined up to £5,000 or sent to prison for 2 months.