EUR-Lex Access to European Union law

Back to EUR-Lex homepage

This document is an excerpt from the EUR-Lex website

Document 01997R1255-20070105

Animal welfare during transport — rules on staging points

Animal welfare during transport — rules on staging points


Council Regulation (EC) No 1255/97 on EU criteria for control posts and amending the route plan for the transport of animals



It establishes rules for control posts where animals rest for at least 12 hours during compulsory breaks in long distance journeys within the EU. These are designed to ensure optimum conditions for their welfare.


  • The control posts must:
    • be located in an area free from any animal health restrictions;
    • be under the authority of an official veterinarian;
    • undergo regular inspections at least twice a year;
    • comply with all relevant EU animal health legislation;
    • respect detailed health and hygiene measures, building standards and operational rules. These cover bedding and animal litter, loading and unloading equipment and treatment of animals during their stay.
  • The control posts are used exclusively to receive, feed, water, rest, accommodate, care for and dispatch animals passing through.
  • Animals in different consignments may only be present at the same time if they have the same certified health status.
  • The relevant national authority approves, and issues a number to, each control post. The approval may be limited to certain species or categories of animal and their health status.
  • Owners of control posts must:
    • accept only animals certified or identified according to the relevant EU legislation;
    • ensure the animals are cared for and fed and watered as required;
    • call a vet if this is required to treat or despatch an animal;
    • use staff with the appropriate training and professional competence;
    • notify the relevant authorities within one working day of the departure of a consignment;
    • inform the competent authority as early as possible of any irregularities.
  • An EU country must suspend the use of a control post if serious violations of animal health or welfare rules occur. It informs the European Commission and other EU countries.
  • Before animals leave a control post, an official veterinarian must verify they are fit to continue their journey.


It applies from 1 January 1999.


The Lisbon Treaty, which came into force on 1 December 2009, recognises that animals are sentient beings. As a result, EU policies must fully respect their welfare requirements.

The EU has adopted separate legislation on:

For more information, see ‘Animal welfare — Main achievements’ on the European Commission’s website.


Council Regulation (EC) No 1255/97 of 25 June 1997 concerning Community criteria for staging points and amending the route plan referred to in the Annex to Directive 91/628/EEC (OJ L 174, 2.7.1997, pp. 1-6)

Successive amendments to Council Regulation (EC) No 1255/97 have been incorporated into the original text. This consolidated version is of documentary value only.


Council Regulation (EC) No 1/2005 of 22 December 2004 on the protection of animals during transport and related operations and amending Directives 64/432/EEC and 93/119/EC and Regulation (EC) No 1255/97 (OJ L 3, 5.1.2005, pp. 1-44)

Council Decision 2004/544/EC of 21 June 2004 on the signing of the European Convention for the protection of animals during international transport (OJ L 241, 13.7.2004, p. 21)

last update 11.04.2016