Fitness for transport

TransportIt is a legal requirement that animals must be fit for transport.

Animal welfare is everyone's responsibility. Farmers, transporters, stock agents and veterinarians all have a role to play in ensuring only fit animals are transported, and in a manner which does not cause any unreasonable or unnecessary pain or distress.

The New Zealand Veterinary Association Te Pae Kīrehe (NZVA) believes that animals should only be transported when their welfare can be appropriately managed. Transport should not be the cause of an animal's welfare deteriorating.

A veterinarian should be consulted where there is any question about whether or not an animal is fit for transport. After a thorough examination and obtaining a history, the veterinarian may certify in writing (via a veterinary certificate) that they consider the animal is fit for transport to the destination without suffering unreasonable or unnecessary pain or distress. The certificate remains valid for seven days from the date of examination.

Veterinary certification of the fitness of animals for transport is a key component in protecting the welfare of animals with various conditions and abnormalities. This is of importance for the animals being certified, for the integrity of the veterinary profession, and for ensuring international confidence in New Zealand's animal welfare system.

Fitness of Livestock for Transport (for slaughter) Veterinary Declaration Pads available for purchase from the NZVA online store.

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Resources for veterinarians and clients

Ask Reg

Ask Reg is Ministry for Primary Industries online tool to find all the requirements for an animal or activity. Selecting an animal or activity (such as transport) in Ask Reg will provide you with applicable:

  • regulations
  • guidance on those regulations
  • minimum standards and recommended best practices from across the codes of welfare.

Fit for Transport app

This mobile app helps farmers, transporters, stock agents and veterinarians determine whether an animal is fit for transport. Developed with veterinarians and industry, the app is an easy and efficient tool to help people make the right decision for the welfare of animals. It consolidates available information in to one place and doesn't require internet access, which makes it suitable for on-farm use.

Download the app from Google Play
Download the app from the Apple Store

NZVA Advice

Advice: Transport of pregnant cows and requests for veterinary certification
Issued 2 May 2019.