The UK Rules
'Follow the Regulations'
Animals in Road

Highway Code Animals in Road

UK Highway Code of Practice regulates and maintains the rules for animals in the road. Examples include dogs, animal herds, operators of horse-drawn vehicles, and horse riders.

RULES 47-58: We refer to the standards maintained by the Department for Transport Highway Code of Practice for Great Britain.

They set out the regulations and guidelines for operating a horse-drawn vehicle or riding a horse.

The UK Highways Code also relates to the safety for horse riders. It places restrictions for other animals on public roads within the United Kingdom.

Requirements focus on a list of carriage and fittings safety checks for good working order. Even so, a Road Driving Assessment may be subject to the Local Authority for passenger-carrying services.

Horse-drawn Vehicles

Rule 48: All vehicles pulled by a horse should display two red reflectors on the rear of the carriage. The law also states a light which is white at the front and red at the rear Must be fitted when driving a horse-drawn vehicle at night.

Highway Code Horses (and riders)

The Highway Code for horse riders states that, whenever possible, you should ride with other calm horses. This is especially important if you expect your horse to act 'nervously' around road traffic.

Note: Horse riders should always use a saddle and a bridle. Read further information about the minimum level of driver competence and vehicle safety practices to use for driving horse-drawn vehicles.

Highway Code Rules for Other Animals

Rule 56: Dogs and the Highway Code:

Rule 57:Make sure dogs, or any other animals, are 'suitably' restrained inside a vehicle. This will help to stop them distracting or injuring you while you are driving. It also reduces the likelihood of injuries for the dog if you need to bring the vehicle to an abrupt stop.

Note: There are several ways of restraining canines and other animals in a car. You can use a dog cage, a dog guard, seat belt harness, or a pet carrier.

Highway Code Animal Herds

Rule 58: Animals being herded on public roads and highways:

Herded animals should always be kept under control on roads. Try to warn other road users by having someone a distance in front of the herd. This is especially pertinent at the brow of a hill or around a bend.

Moving a large herd of animals is often safer done at night time during darkness. If so, you should wear reflective clothing and carry lights. The lights should display white at the front and red at the rear of the herd.

Animals in the Highway Code: A Guide for the United Kingdom