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live animals

Service with a conscience

Can we ship livestock on your vessels?

Yes, we can ship livestock on our Dover-Calais and Irish Sea routes, however animal welfare is an issue that concerns us. Therefore, in keeping with our animal welfare policy, we reserve the right to refuse any shipment of livestock if we deem the shipment to be in violation of animal rights.


We are only prepared to ship breeding livestock, we will not ship any livestock intended for fattening or slaughter. If you wish to ship cattle, pigs or sheep, you must book via the relevant national associations. These livestock must be transported according to DEFRA requirements and accompanied by the correct DEFRA documentation, clearly showing the animals are being shipped for breeding purposes. A surcharge of 25% is applied to livestock movements.


Please contact the relevant national association for pricing details as follows:


National Beef Association
Tel: +44 1434 601005
National Beef Association Website »

National Pig Association
Tel: +44 2476 858780
National Pig Association Website »

National Sheep Association
Tel: +44 1684 892661
National Sheep Association Website »


P&O Ferries Ltd will not carry live chicks or hatching eggs unless the shipper is endorsed by, or a direct member of, either the British Poultry Council, or European Live Poultry and Hatching Egg Association. This does not include game birds.


Live animals will only be carried if Council Regulation (EC) No. 1/2005 on the Protection of Animals During Transport is strictly adhered to. We reserve the right to refuse any shipment that we deem to be in violation of any of the guidelines stated within these regulations.


Please note that the term ‘livestock’ is defined as any farmed animal that is shipped in large quantity, as a commodity; this may also include llamas, rabbits, goats etc. Should you wish to ship any livestock (not including cows, pigs or sheep), you can book directly through P&O Ferries. We may also charge 25% surcharge for carrying small livestock.


Can we ship horses on your vessels?


Yes, we can ship horses on all our routes (except Dublin - Liverpool, shipments from Tilbury and freight only shipments from Zeebrugge) under the following conditions:

We will only accept more than 6 horses in a vehicle if booked through a recognised Bloodstock agent, or if booked on a direct P&O Ferries account.

Equines travelling between France and the UK

Equines able to move to France and back under the Tripartite agreement must be registered with the following approved industry bodies:

  • Weatherbys
  • British Equestrian Federation (BEF)/Federation Equestre Internationale (FEI)
  • AQPS (French studbook)

These equines must travel with:

  • A passport issued by one of the above bodies
  • A DOCOM (commercial document)
  • An export welfare license or AHA certificate

Equines that are not approved by these bodies, travelling between France and the UK and equines travelling to any other EU state must travel with:

  • A passport, issued by any organisation
  • A Health Certificate (Not a DOCOM)
  • An export welfare license or AHA certificate

Health Certificates are ONLY valid for 10 days from the date of vets signature (and can only be signed within 48 hrs of departure). Horses and ponies may return to the originating country on the same health certificate providing it is within 10 days of the vet’s signature. (day 1 being the day it was signed)


The information detailed above is for guidance only – The responsibility lies with the owner or agent to comply with British and European statutory regulations.

Further information can be obtained by contacting DEFRA.

If you have any specific requirements to ship live animals, or would like further information, please contact us directly:
Freightsales.dover@poferries.com     Tel: +44 1304 863875     (Mon – Fri 8.00am – 5.30pm GMT)
Freightops.dover@poferries.com       Tel: +44 1304 8632539   (After hours)
Freightops.calais@poferries.com        Tel: +33 321 461020     (After hours)