ARCHIVE: International trade: Importer Information Notes - bovine animals from EU Member States and Norway (IIN A/2 EU)
Information about the importation of bovine animals (including bison and buffalo) into England from other EU Member States and Norway
i) These notes:
- explain the conditions that apply to intra-Community trade (movement between EU Member States) into England of bovine animals from the rest of the EU and Norway
- should be read in conjunction with the notes describing the veterinary checks applicable to all live animals and genetic material imported into England (see Importer Information Note IIN A/1 (465 KB))
- are for guidance only. They do not give comprehensive coverage of all conditions laid down in EU and national legislation and have no legal force. Importers must satisfy themselves that bovine animals are imported in accordance with all the relevant legislation. The authoritative legal position will be found in the appropriate national legislation and EU Regulations, Directives and Decisions
ii) Trade in non domestic animals of the bovine species are provided for under different rules.
1. All bovine animals from other Member States and Norway must comply with EU animal health rules governing intra-Community trade. These rules are implemented in England by the Animals and Animal Products (Import and Export)(England) Regulations 2006 (SI 2006 No. 1471) as amended by the Animals and Animal Products (Import and Export) (England) (Amendment) Regulations 2007 (SI 2007 No. 3277). The person responsible for the animal(s) must notify, in writing (fax or email is acceptable), the local Divisional Veterinary Manager (DVM) responsible for the area of destination of their intention to import. This should be done at least 24 hours in advance of the expected date of import.
Animal health conditions
2. All bovine animals must comply with the requirements of Council Directive 64/432/EEC, as amended, on animal health problems affecting intra-Community trade in bovine animals and swine.
3. The Directive requires that cattle for breeding or production must come from:
- an officially tuberculosis-free herd, as defined in Annex A of Council Directive 64/432/EEC
- an officially brucellosis-free herd, as defined in Annex A of Council Directive 64/432/EEC
- an enzootic bovine leukosis-free herd, as defined in Annex D of Council Directive 64/432/EEC
4. In the case of cattle for slaughter, the Directive requires that animals come from a herd that is:
- officially tuberculosis-free
- officially enzootic bovine leukosis (EBL)-free
- officially brucellosis-free (uncastrated animals)
5. All consignments of cattle must be accompanied by an original health certificate signed by an official veterinarian of the veterinary authorities of the Member State concerned, in conformity with the model laid down in the Directive. In accordance with Council Regulation (EC) No. 599/2004:
- the certificate must include the conditions set out at Annex F to Council Directive 64/432/EEC, as amended
- the certificate must be valid for ten days from the date of the health inspection carried out in the EU Member State of origin
- the certificate is valid for only one species
- the signature and the stamp must be in a colour different to that of the printing
- the original certificate must accompany the consignment to the final destination
- the holding or establishment must keep the original or a copy of the certificate for at least three years
- certificates may be drawn up only for animals which are to be transported in the same railway wagon/lorry, or aircraft or boat/ship, which originate from the same holding and which are being sent to the same consignee
- the certificate must be issued within 24 hours of the departure of the consignment
Additional conditions and guarantees
Spain and Portugal
6. The health certification accompanying cattle from Spain and Portugal must state that the cattle are in accordance with Commission Decisions 90/208/EEC and 91/52/EEC respectively on contagious bovine pleuro-pneumonia (CBPP). They must come from a herd in which all animals over 12 months of age have tested negative for CBPP within the previous 12 months and the animals being exported have tested negative for CBPP within 30 days of export.
Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland
7. Bovine animals from the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland will normally be subjected to Tuberculin testing 60 days after import. If they are fattened in isolation and sent directly to slaughter at the end of this period, the local DVM may agree a waiver from the 60 day post-import test. This waiver must be applied for in writing and approval given at least 21 days before the expected date of import. Post-import tests for brucellosis may also be required.
8. As a signatory of the European Economic Area (EEA) Agreement, Norway has agreed to implement EU veterinary legislation in relation to the movement of animals between Member States of the European Union. Bovine animals from Norway must comply with the same requirements applying to those from EU Member States.
Cattle identification: ear tags
9. Bovine animals must have an approved numeric eartag in each ear (double tagged) showing the same unique number. One must be a primary distance-readable tag.
Further information is available on the Defra website or by contacting the British Cattle Movement Service (BCMS) on 0845 050 1234.
Cattle Identification: passports
10. In accordance with Community legislation, bovine animals from other Member States should be accompanied by a cattle passport issued in the Member State of origin. The person responsible for the animal at its destination must surrender the passport to BCMS within 15 days of the animal's arrival at the holding of destination. At the same time they must apply for a GB passport. Applications for passports for bovine animals should be made to BCMS (using form CPPI6 ) at:
The British Cattle Movement Service
Cumbria, CAI4 2DD
Tel: 0845 050 1234
Copies of the application forms are available from BCMS or the Defra website.
11. Bovine animals, including water buffalo and bison, of all ages (excluding those from Northern Ireland) must comply with the following requirements:
- The animals must be treated with an approved warble fly preparation immediately on arrival
- The importer must send a declaration, stating that the cattle have been treated, to the Divisional Veterinary Manager within 5 working days
- A list of currently licensed products (332 KB) is on the Veterinary Medicines Directorate website
Welfare of animals during transport
12. Importers are reminded that they must comply with rules on the welfare of animals during transport. For information on the rules, importers should contact Defra’s Welfare Division:
Tel: 020 7904 6973 or 020 7904 8335
Deaths of Animals in transit
13. If an imported animal dies in transit to, or at, a port or airport in England, the person in charge of the animal must report its death, together with any other relevant information to the DVM. The carcass of the animal must be removed as soon as possible from the presence of the live animals in the container and must be disposed of in accordance with any instructions given by the attending veterinary inspector.
14. Importers and owners of imported animals are advised that rabies occurs in domestic livestock in some countries. Importers should pay special attention to the health of any imported animal during its first 6 weeks in Great Britain and notify the DVM of any signs of disease. Symptoms of rabies in cattle are an abnormal change of behaviour, anxiety, aggressiveness, frequent bellowing, excessive saliva with choking, difficulty in eating, grinding of teeth, constipation & diarrhoea with severe straining & tail swishing and difficulty in movement with progressive paralysis. Death may occur after the third to seventh day.15. If importers see symptoms of abnormal behaviour or ill health, details should be reported to the DVM or the importer’s veterinary surgeon as soon as possible. Rabies is a compulsorily notifiable disease.
1. While every attempt is made to keep this information note current, import conditions may change and importers are responsible for checking the current status of the requirements.
Situations where emergency safeguard action has been taken, at very short notice, to prohibit the importation of certain animals/products from certain countries following an outbreak of serious disease in those countries may not be covered. Importers are advised to contact the Department to check if any action has been taken in relation to the current status of any particular country. Details of safeguard measures can also be found in our Declarations and Customer Information Notes.
2. Community legislation – consolidated texts
Consolidated texts, which integrate the basic instruments of Community legislation with their amendments and corrections in a single, non-official document,are available. Each consolidated text contains a list of all legal documents taken into account for its construction. Therefore a comparison with the data in the 'Directory of Community legislation in force' will allow you to easily check how up to date the consolidated text is.
Texts provided in this section are intended for information only. Please note that these texts have no legal value. For legal purposes please refer to the texts published in the 'Official Journal of the European Communities'.
4. Importers should note that the information given relates only to animal health conditions of import. It does not give guidance on other controls which may need to be met. An information page, giving details of other organisations which importers may need to consult, is available.
Contact for general information on import requirements
Animal Health Import Team,
Tel: 01245 454860
Other useful contacts are available.
Page last modified: 24 November 2010