In line with the Animal Welfare Act that came into force in England in April 2007, two new EU regulations were also introduced:

  • The Welfare of Animals During Transport (WADT) January 2007
  • The Drivers' Hours and Tachograph Rules (DHTR) April 2007

These regulations affect the transport of all vertebrate animals, not just horses, and were introduced to cover the welfare of animals being transported for economic reason, for example journeys to market, to slaughter and to other EU countries.

Do not at this point stop reading, however. This legislation is far reaching and may well affect you.

From January 5, 2008, transporters or attendants using road vehicles for transporting farm animals, poultry or horses in connection with an economic activity must have received appropriate training.

They must also hold a certificate of competence issued by an independent body nominated by Defra.

Defra has appointed the British Horseracing Education and Standards Trust as its awarding body for horse-travel-related qualifications, and the details of the qualifications were announced at its travel seminar on March 27, 2007.

All areas of the horse industry will be affected: studs, racing yards, point to point yards, eventing, show jumping, dressage, showing, horse transporters, livery yards, riding schools - really any business that involves transporting horses more than 65km.

Individuals must achieve the necessary qualification by January 5, 2008. Failure to do so could result in a fine and/or prosecution.

There are two levels of qualification: The Certificate in Equine Transport (CET) is designed for those transporting horses on journeys more than 65km, but not exceeding eight hours (short journeys).

There are two options: Attendant and Attendant/Driver. The Advanced Certificate in Equine Transport (ACET) is designed for those transporting horses on short and long journeys (journeys exceeding eight hours). There are three options: Attendant, Driver and Attendant/Driver.

There are three main objectives to this qualification, all of which have the welfare of animals in mind. The first is to ensure high standards of welfare and for animals to be treated in a humane way. Secondly, to ensure that vehicles are well maintained and, finally, to ensure sympathetic handling of animals by properly trained and competent personnel.

The British Horseracing Education and Standards Trust (BHEST) is the only body to have developed these equine transport qualifications in order to assess the skills and knowledge of those transporting horses in connection with an economic activity.

To take either of these qualifications you must register through a BHEST-approved centre.

Haddon Training, based in Marlborough in Wiltshire, is a BHEST approved centre having been accredited for many years to deliver their horse care and management NVQs and apprenticeships in racing and breeding.

For the Certificate in Equine Transport (CET) the assessment is by external test(s) only. This means you can sit a short multiple choice questions paper(s) either online or paper based.

If you have selected the Attendant only option, you will sit one test. If you have selected the Attendant/Driver option, you will sit a second, shorter test.

Haddon Training can arrange the date and time and will provide the facilities for you to sit the test(s).

For the Advanced Certificate in Equine Transport (ACET) you will sit one external test and be practically assessed on your horse handling and/or driving skills according to the options you have selected.

The practical assessment will be subject to internal and external verification, which means that there is a quality assurance process in place to ensure that the assessment meets national standards Haddon Training is currently working on the final details of the delivery, assessment routes, training and exam days, and costs. If you are interested in finding out more about the Certificate in Equine Transport and the Advanced Certificate in Equine Transport, please go to the Haddon Training website and complete the registration of interest form.

A transport qualification welcome pack will be sent to you, which will offer detailed information on the qualifications; who is required to take which qualification and at what level; where your local training and exam centre is; what available dates there are for training and exam days as well as the costs involved in both the training and exams.

There will be a network of national test centres and locations to service the training and exam requirements and dates will be available throughout the year.

As this is a Government-led incentive, there are Defra Guidance Notes available which will give you a clearer idea of whether you need to take either one of these qualifications.

The Defra notes are available on the Haddon training website or, alternatively, go to: for a full explanation of the requirements.

Do not think that you can put off getting these qualifications. If you are involved in transporting horses for economic gain you, and your staff will need to hold the appropriate certificate if you plan to transport horses in 2008.