header c

The new Food and Consumer Product Safety Authority (nVWA) has stricter controls on the transport of animals. Not only on the transport of farm animals, but also on the transport of animals such as birds, reptiles, rodents and other (hobby) pets.


The animals must be transported in packaging that is not directly subject to temperature. eg styrofoam boxes, double-walled and other means of transport or means of transport must be equipped with heating;
Cats must be transported in decent cages or benches;
The animals must be transported in the dark; cardboard boxes, for example, must be avoided;
Animals may not be transported together in (too) large numbers;
There must be sufficient space for the animals in the means of transport.
Obligations and rules
The rules with regard to animal transport have been laid down at European level. The Transport Regulation applies to all vertebrate animals transported with an economic interest. This also applies if, for example, you want to sell vertebrate animals at a bird market or reptile exchange.

There are administrative obligations and rules regarding, among other things:

The way in which the animals must be treated;
When animals are not suitable for transport;
How means of transport must be arranged;
Which travel schedules should be used.
 Supplement transport reptiles, amphibians, insects etc.

  • Do not release animals in the packaging box
    Animals are allowed together, if separated, in a large packaging box.
    Animals in bags may only sit together to a limited extent in a packaging box.
    Only pack animals of equivalent weight in fabric bags.
    Animals stacked in fabric bags on top of each other
    Only stack animals in trays if there is sufficient ventilation in the trays.
    Over-stacking of animals in sacks can be seen by legislation as a lack of animal welfare and can be confiscated by government departments.

Transport of different types:


Light cotton bag, pillowcase, etc. This in a styrofoam box, because of the risk of injury with secure closures extra; with tape or cable ties.


In the case of species of lizards that have predetermined breaking points in the tail, avoid kinking of the tail.
Small lizards (geckos, Skinks, Lacertides, Anolis etc): cloth bag, seams to the outside or small suitable transport containers with adequate ventilation in a polystyrene box.
Medium-sized lizards (agamen, medium-sized iguanas, small monitor lizards, etc.): corresponding large packing box, transport box with newspaper as the basis. This again in a styrofoam box.
Lizards (adult iguanas, monitor lizards): fabric bag, pillowcase or duvet cover made of cotton, seams to the outside, attachments specially secured with tape or cable ties. This again in a styrofoam box.
Chameleons: sitting freely on a branch clamped in the Styrofoam box, that the animal cannot go anywhere, the branch attached directly to the bottom of the box or in containers with such a branch and sufficient ventilation in a polystyrene box.


Lockable insulating box around the outside of a species, significant risk of injury and stress when transported in laundry baskets, litter trays or otherwise festered or perforated containers.
Turtles: smooth-walled plastic box with an absorbent surface (newspaper, kitchen paper),
Water, mud or pond turtles: cotton bag, attached to the transport box. Bag must be moist or small suitable transport containers with adequate ventilation and moist material in a polystyrene box. No water during transport due to the risk of drowning and subcooling.
Softshell turtles: Transport bag made from the finest mesh possible, filled with the bottom of the polystyrene box with several layers of damp towels or small suitable transport containers with adequate ventilation and moist material in polystyrene box.
Amphibians: Terraboxes of appropriate size and number of animals, box with no sharp edges, watch out for vents, substrate wet kitchen towels, offer in shy species corners with beech or oak leaves as hiding places. Pure amphibians in the water (for example claw frogs): lay this flat in a styrofoam box in a plastic bag filled to 1/3 with aquarium water and some aquatic plant material.

Transport license
If the transport of live animals is an economic activity, almost all transport operators require a transport license. This depends on the type of transport that the carrier wishes to perform to the maximum. The differences in the type of permit are reflected in the technical regulations. With a type II license, more stringent requirements are imposed on the vehicle and inspection is carried out by the National Road Traffic Agency (RDW). The following situations are possible:

The carrier never carries out transports that are longer than 65 kilometers: no permit is required;

The transporter only carries out transports that last less than eight hours (including loading and unloading the animals): a type I permit is required;
The transporter also carries out transports that last longer than eight hours: type II permit;
A carrier may only have one license throughout the European Union (EU). With a type II license, shipments of less than 8 hours may also be carried out.
Health certificate

A health certificate is required for trade and transport of animals and animal by-products within the EU. When animals are transported from one country to another, these animals must be accompanied by a health certificate issued by an authorized veterinarian.

More information

For more information about legislation or regulations or to apply for a transport permit, I refer you to our website: www.nvwa.nl (go to Topics> transport).

If you still have questions after reading, please contact the NVWA: 0900-0388.