Cattle exporters reminded of new ROI BVD trade requirements

DAERA has reminded exporters moving cattle to the Republic of Ireland (ROI) to prepare now for new requirements related to Bovine Viral Diarrhoea (BVD).

The BVD testing requirements of the Export Health Certificate (EHC) which became operational in 2021 have to be met to export to Member States which either have an EU approved BVD Eradication Programme or have achieved BVD Free status.

A full list of Member States with an approved BVD Eradication Plan or BVD Free Status is included in Regulation (EU) 2021/620 and can be found on the EUR-Lex website (search for Regulation (EU) 2021/620 for an up-to-date version).

The Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine in the ROI applied to the European Commission for recognition of its BVD eradication programme in February. It is anticipated that approval of its programme will be granted imminently, with BVD Free status expected in 2023. When approval is received, cattle moving to the ROI for breeding and production will have to meet additional BVD requirements which may include additional testing beyond the statutory tissue tag test, and, in some cases, a period of at least 21 days in official quarantine. Cattle moving directly to slaughter will be unaffected.

Keepers who export cattle to the ROI, or indeed other Member States with an approved programme, should consider the options for meeting the new requirements of the EHCs. For example, an exporter who wishes to use the quarantine option will need to apply to DAERA for approval of an Approved Quarantine Establishment (AQE). The process for obtaining approval of the AQE may take up to six weeks, therefore exporters may wish to consider applying in advance of the ROI s BVD programme being approved.

Full details of the BVD pre-export requirements are listed on the DAERA website at www.daera-ni.gov.uk/publications/bvd-requirements-export-cattle-eu-member-states-approved-bvd-eradication-programme-or-bvd-free .

BVD vaccinated animals are still be permitted to move to Member States without BVD Free Status. However, once Free Status is achieved, BVD vaccinated animals will no longer be eligible for export. BVD vaccines play an important role in protecting breeding animals from becoming infected with the BVD virus and for many herds their continued use is recommended. Anyone who may want to export cattle to the ROI for breeding and production needs to be mindful that BVD vaccination is likely to prevent trade in the future. Keepers are advised to seek advice from their Private Veterinary Practitioner.