Exports of animals and animal products in no-deal scenario
EU member states have approved the UK’s listed status, meaning the movement of animals and animal products can continue in the event of a no-deal Brexit.
Without listed status, exports of animal products and most live animals to the EU would not be allowed. Listed status also allows the movement of equines between the UK and the EU.
BVA president Simon Doherty welcomed the news.
“Amidst all of the uncertainty surrounding Brexit, the listed status application approval is a very welcome piece of news,” he said.
“BVA made an early call for the government to ensure the UK achieved listed third country status in order to avoid the nightmare scenario that no animals or animal products could be exported in a no-deal Brexit.
“It is testament to the incredibly hard work of government vets across the UK making sure that the UK meets the stringent health and biosecurity requirements to trade with EU countries.
Mr Doherty added that the announcement will bring "some relief" to vets and farmers who were concerned about the significant welfare and economic issues with not being able to move animals.
Exports of animals and their products will be required to go through an EU border inspection post and businesses will still need an Export Health Certificate. Exporters must now follow EU rules for exports from third countries to the EU.
In the case of a deal scenario, Defra said the UK will not need to be listed during the implementation period. Common rules will remain in place until the end of this period, allowing businesses to trade on the same terms as now until the end of 2020.
Vets and businesses that import live animals, germinal products and certain animal products will continue to have access to the Trade Control and Export System (TRACES) after Brexit, until later this year.
Food and animal welfare minister David Rutley said: “This is good news for UK businesses. It demonstrates our very high standards of biosecurity and animal health which we will continue to maintain after we leave the EU.
“If you or your business import or export animal and animal products or imports high risk food then I urge you to visit our guidance pages on gov.uk for what you need to do to be ready to continue to trade post-Brexit.”
However, the BVA noted that under third country listed status, veterinary certification will still be needed for all exports and imports. In a no-deal scenario, the UK will see a significant increase in the volume of certification, at a time when the profession is already experiencing a shortfall.
In addition, the announcement does not cover pet travel, so without a deal pet owners will need to meet additional testing and certification requirements to travel to the EU with cats, dogs or ferrets.