What are the regulations for shipping live animals?

When shipping live animals, the main focus of the shipment should be on the health and safety of the animal. There are many regulations that need to be adhered to that ensure the appropriate shipping of the animals. These regulations are defined by the International Air Transport Association (IATA) and the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) guidelines. Read all about the regulations of shipping live animals below:

Conditions of transport

The regulations regarding conditions of transport in the shipping of a live animal state that the animals should be transported as quickly as possible to ensure their welfare. The first choice of shipping live animals over a long distance is always air transport as it is the quickest means and will reduce the likelihood of stress and other issues. Should the animal have an injury or other issue before being shipped, such as having open wounds, being unable to move, or more, they will be deemed unfit for shipping.


The regulations for the planning stage of shipping a live animal include knowledge of the species in transport, including its age, sex, feeding requirements, medical history, environmental requirements and more. All route conditions such as weather, status, possible delays, among other things should be noted. National and international regulations should be clarified, and all the necessary shipping documents should be obtained which includes veterinary documents, declarations, permits and so on.

Transport compartments

The means of transport used to ship the live animal must follow strict regulations to ensure that the animal does not succumb to any stress or injuries. The compartments should be temperature appropriate for the animals and should not be affected by any changes in climate. Each compartment should allow enough space for the animal in question and should be strong enough to prevent its escape. The compartments should also have an adequate amount of bedding that will ensure their comfort throughout the entire shipping process.