Trade or movement within EU Member States
Detailed information about moving animals and animal products to the UK from other EU Member States can be found in the Importer Information Notes. In addition, Customer Information Notes (CINs) provide an update if there are any changes to import controls.
If you wish to be added to the mailing list to receive CINs relating to movements of animals or animal products moving into GB, please complete and return the CIN proforma.
In some cases you may need a licence to land animals and animal products in Great Britain.
Exporters wanting to move live animals, animal products and genetic material to an EU Member State will generally need some form of documentation in the form of health certification signed by a government approved ‘Official Veterinarian’ , or in the case of some animal products some commercial documentation. Norway and Switzerland have agreed harmonised animal health and welfare rules with the EU for animals, certain animal products and germplasm. Together with EU Member States they make up the European Economic Area (EEA). Further information on exporting animals and animal products or contact Animal Health and Veterinary Laboratories Agency Specialist Service Centre (SSC) – Exports, Carlisle.
- All livestock must also comply with domestic rules concerning movements, licences and identification. You are also advised to read the exporter guide on exports of cattle.
- Ovine and caprine breeding animals moved to other Member States must also comply with scrapie monitoring requirements.
- Equidae destined for intra-Union trade must comply with requirements in Council Directive 2009/156/EC (as amended). Exporters of equidae are advised to read about checks on horses and comply with rules relating to horse passports. Exporters must also comply with specific requirements set out in the Tripartite Agreement for movements of equidae between UK, France and the Republic of Ireland.
Poultry (inc captive birds)
Exporters wanting to move more than 20 birds or hatching eggs to another Member State need to be a member of the Poultry Health Scheme.
- Poultry Health Scheme Members Handbook provides all the information you need to know about this scheme. Advice on charging is available on the Poultry Health Scheme fees page.
- A Welsh version (PDF 324 KB) is also available.
The captive and pet bird leaflet explains the rules traders must comply with when moving these birds between Member States. The leaflet is for guidance only and it covers both psittacines (birds of the parrot group) and non-psittacines.
Circus animals and animal acts
All mammals (including bats), birds, bees, salmon and trout that are used primarily for the purpose of public exhibition or entertainments.
Trade in zoo animals
Trade in zoo animals is subject to Directive 92/65/EEC and in some cases this may require that the animals come from an approved or registered establishment.
Rare or endangered species are subject to additional licensing controls under the European Wildlife Regulations which implement the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES). These are administered in the UK by the Global Wildlife Division of Defra. Exporters of CITES listed species are advised to obtain a licence before any export takes place.
There are special rules for trade of animal by-products and you may need an authorisation to move certain by-products between EU Member States.
Artificial Breeding Controls (ABC)
The use of bovine, porcine, ovine / caprine and equine animals in artificial breeding may need approval from the competent authorities. Collection, production, storage and trade in genetics may also need approval.
- Bovine semen destined for intra-Union trade is governed by Council Directive 88/407/EEC (as amended) and Council Directive 89/556/EEC for embryos. Exporters must take note and comply with the certification requirements in the Annexes to the Directives. For guidance on the requirements and application procedures, please contact the Artificial Breeding Control (ABC) team in AHVLA.
- Ovine/caprine semen, ova and embryos destined for intra-Union trade must comply with requirements in Council Directive 92/65/EEC (as amended).
- Equine semen, ova and embryos destined for intra-Union trade must comply with requirements in Council Directive 92/65/EEC (as amended).
- Porcinedestined for intra-Union trade must comply with requirements in Directive 90/429/EEC (as amended).
Consignments of genetic materials listed above for intra-Union trade must be accompanied by export health certificate signed by an Official Veterinarian confirming that it meets the requirements.
Bovine Semen – The Bovine Semen (England) Regulations 2007 and The Bovine Semen (England) (Amendment) Regulations 2011 cover the collection, processing and storage of bovine semen for domestic market only. The fees relating to bovine semen are incorporated in Bovine Semen Regulation (England) 2007.
Bovine Embryos – Controls on the collection, production, storage and movement of embryos for the domestic only market is governed by The Bovine Embryo (Collection, production and Transfer) Regulations 1995. The fees relating to bovine embryos are laid out in the Bovine Embryo (Collection, Production & Transfer) (Fees) Regulations 1995.
Porcine semen – Controls on the collection, processing and movement of semen for the domestic-only market is governed by the Artificial Insemination of Pigs (England and Wales) Regulations 1964, as amended (and by corresponding legislation in Scotland). The fees relating to porcine semen are laid out in The Porcine semen (Fees) (England) Regulations 2007. Parallel legislation applies in Scotland and Wales
Note: There is no domestic legislation for trade in ovine and caprine semen and embryos, and equine semen and embryo in the domestic-only market.
Information on developments and issues that affect exports of live animals is available in Customer Information Notes (CINs).