The Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs (DAERA) has told Northern Ireland (NI) cattle exporters moving livestock to the Republic of Ireland (ROI) for breeding and production that they must now meet new requirements related to Bovine Viral Diarrhoea (BVD).

DAERA stated that cattle moving directly to slaughter in the ROI will be unaffected.

The move comes after the European Commission approved the ROI BVD Eradication Programme.

The ROI is expected to achieve formal BVD Free Status in 2023.

The BVD requirements of the Export Health Certificate (EHC), have to be met to export to member states which either have an EU approved BVD Eradication Programme or have achieved BVD Free Status.

Cattle moving to the ROI for breeding and production must meet BVD requirements which depend on the pregnancy status of the animal, and may include additional testing beyond the statutory tissue tag test, and, in some cases, a period of at least 21 days in official quarantine.

DAERA said that keepers who export cattle to the ROI, or indeed other member states with an approved programme, need to consider the options on the EHCs and take action to secure necessary approvals in advance of exporting.

For example, an exporter who wishes to use the quarantine option will need to apply to DAERA for approval of an Approved Quarantine Establishment (AQE).

The process for obtaining approval of the AQE will take time and exporters are, therefore, advised to contact the department immediately.