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Imports/exports – animals and animal products

Inspection of air-freight products

Import and exports of animals and animal products represent an important and significant contribution to the UK economy – but they can also bring with them the risk of animal diseases. Imports are therefore subject to strict controls at the UK border under EU and national rules.

International trade is often subject to complex government negotiations. Defra, as the recognised UK lead department for international trade, facilitates UK exports of animals and animal products.

Latest Customer Information Notes and OVS notes

The case for government action

Apart from animal diseases, risks can also be to public health (diseases such as highly pathogenic avian influenza type H5N1 can infect humans and is of serious public concern) or economic (the outbreak of foot and mouth disease in 2001 is estimated to have cost in excess of £3 billion directly to the agricultural and food sectors).

Key publications and documents

Further information

Page last modified: 23 October 2014