Northern Ireland

Brexit: UK can export animals to EU after no deal

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The UK has been given approval to continue exporting animals and products of animal origin to the EU in the event of a no-deal Brexit.

The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) confirmed the move on Wednesday.

Without what is known as third country listing, livestock and other products could not have been sent to the EU.

The UK's assurances on animal health and biosecurity arrangements were found to be sufficient by the EU.

Defra said exports of animals and their products would need to go through an EU border inspection post and be accompanied by an export health certificate.

On Wednesday, the British Veterinary Association (BVA) said it "welcomed" the news from Defra.

'Nightmare scenario'

BVA president Simon Doherty said he had "made an early call for the government to ensure the UK achieved listed third country status to avoid a nightmare scenario".

He added: "This announcement will bring some relief to vets and farmers who have been worried about the significant welfare and economic implications of not being able to move animals under a no-deal Brexit."

The Irish government has insisted it will not build any infrastructure on the border with Northern Ireland for checks on cross-border trade.

In Northern Ireland, the Department of Agriculture Environment and Rural Affairs (Daera) has said exporters should contact the authorities in the Republic of Ireland for advice on how and where livestock and other animal products should cross the border.

Meanwhile Daera has published advice on imports of animals and products of animal origin from the Republic to Northern Ireland.

In most cases the system remains the same, with livestock requiring only existing levels of health checks, documentation and pre-notification of movement.

Products entering Northern Ireland from a listed non-EU country through the Republic of Ireland will have to enter the Republic by an EU border inspection post.

They can then travel to Northern Ireland without any further checks but will have to be accompanied by the proper paperwork and notification.

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