Whether its bulls to Bristol, cows to Cheshire or rams to Rutland, by January of next year anyone moving animals more th 65km (40 miles) will need to hold a Certicificate of Competence in the Transport of Animals.

Qualifications are few and far between in the livestock industry, but this is one few of us will be able to avoid. So, it was with a mild amount of trepidation that I sat the test, administered by NPTC, required to gain the qualification last week.

It may only be needed for moving animals more than 40 miles and many farmers may suggest they don’t move stock this far, but every so often most do, so better to be qualified than get caught. I for one had little choice, every show bar one I exhibit at is more than 40 miles from home, so without the qualification I wouldn’t be going too far in search of silverware!

And there’s always the sale you go to not planning to buy anything and end up heading home with the one you couldn’t afford to let get away – my particular weakness!

Having hauled stock for as long as I’ve been driving I’d like to think I know what I’m doing, but as always you’re never quite sure until someone challenges you. After all how many of us know which peice of paperwork is needed to transport casualty stock – the answer apparently is a schedule 18.So what’s in the test, well you’ll be faced by 27 multiple choice questions each with four answers, two of which are largely sensible and two of which are in some cases plainly ridiculous: Would you call the Highways Agency for assist with an ill animal? No I didn’t think so!

Overall it shouldn’t hold much fear for anyone with a modicum of common sense, but equally be prepared to have your mathematical powers tested at least once.

To say the test is easy may be overstating things, however, it certainly wasn’t as tricky as it could have been and at no point did the questions set out to trick or trap anyone. So even if you don’t think you’ll need it, this is one string worth adding to your bow.