This page provides information on the import conditions for breeding and production pigs, slaughter pigs and pigs returning from shows. It also provides documents which will help to make sure you have all the required import paper work.

Import conditions for breeding and production pigs from GB

You must apply to DAERA Trade Section ( 028 77442 096) at least 10 working days prior to import to obtain a Specific import licence permitting you to import animals from Great Britain. The licence conditions are set out below.

Port of entry

Landing must take place at the port of Larne and the person in charge of the animals must report immediately following disembarkation to a Portal Inspector and must co-operate with DAERA staff as required. Animals may not leave the Port until a Portal Inspector has authorised such departure.

Identification requirements

The animals to be imported must be clearly and permanently identified by means of an individual and unique identification tattoo and/or ear tag which permits tracing of their premises of origin. This must include an individual number (of not more than 4 characters) to distinguish it from any other animal marked with the same holding number.

Health certificate guarantees

The animals to be imported must be accompanied by a valid health certificate and a schedule giving details of the individual ear numbers, breed, sex and age of the animals to which it relates and the registration number of the vehicle in which the animals are being transported to Northern Ireland. The health certificate and schedule must be signed by an Official Veterinarian
(OV) appointed by the appropriate authority in Great Britain.

The health certificate referred to above must certify that:-

Herd disease status

  • there has been no clinical, pathological or serological evidence of Transmissible Gastro-Enteritis (TGE) in any herd in which the pigs have been kept during the past 12 months
  • the exporting herd is not subject to any official restriction for disease control purposes
  • there has been no evidence of Aujeszkys disease or swine influenza in the exporting herd during the 12 month period immediately preceding the date of export

Standstill and isolation requirements

  • no pigs have been moved onto the premises of origin during the 3 week period immediately preceding the date of export
  • the pigs to be exported to NI were born in or have resided in GB for at least 6 months immediately preceding the date of export
  • all the pigs to be exported/all those pigs from which pigs to be exported were finally selected at the time of export were isolated in separate airspace(s) as remote from other livestock as possible for a period of not less than 30 days immediately preceding the date of export. (Certification with regard to isolation may be given on the basis of observations at the time of visits to take blood samples for pre-export tests and at the inspection referred to below)

Testing requirements

  • not sooner than the 21st day of pre-export isolation period referred to at paragraph above and not more than 30 days prior to the date of export, all the isolated pigs were subjected to the serological tests detailed below. The tests must be carried out by the Central Veterinary Laboratory Weybridge/Lasswade or Veterinary Sciences Division (AFBI) with negative results in the case of every pig tested (either a serum neutralisation test for Transmissible Gastro-Enteritis or an ELISA test for Transmissible Gastro-Enteritis).

Pre-export examination

  • within 24 hours of the time of loading all the animals described in the schedule to the Health Certificate were clinically examined, their identification marks were seen to be clear and as stated in the schedule and they were found to be free from any clinical evidence of infectious or contagious disease including ectoparasitism and were in all respects healthy and fit to travel.

Cleansing and disinfection requirements

The transport vehicle must be cleansed so as to remove all visible organic matter and disinfected with a disinfectant approved by the competent authority of the exporting country before loading of the animals. During transport, the imported animals must not come into contact with animals that are not certified to the same health status.

Post import conditions

Immediately after landing imported pigs must be moved directly to the holding of destination in Northern Ireland as shown in the health certificate.
The person in charge of the holding of destination of the imported animals must advise the local Divisional Veterinary Officer of their arrival not later than the next working day following importation. This requires the importer to submit the health certificate that accompanied the animals from GB to the local DVO along with the relevant Aujeszky’s disease movement documents
Imported pigs must be presented to an officer of the Department for checking and post import testing on the premises of destination.

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Import conditions of slaughter pigs from GB

You must apply to DAERA Trade Section ( 028 77442 096) at least 10 working days prior to import to obtain a Specific import licence permitting you to import animals from Great Britain. The licence conditions are set out below.

Port of entry

Landing must take place at the port of Larne and the person in charge of the animals must report immediately following disembarkation to a Portal Inspector and must co-operate with DAERA staff as required. Animals may not leave the Port until a Portal Inspector has authorised such departure.

Identification requirements

The animals to be imported must be clearly and permanently identified by means of a tattoo and/or ear tag which permits tracing of their premises of origin and an indelible mark on their heads which identifies them as animals for slaughter.

Health certificate guarantees

The animals to be imported must be accompanied by an original health certificate and a schedule giving details of the ear numbers, breed, sex and age of the animals to which it relates and the registration number of the vehicle in which the animals are being transported to Northern Ireland. The health certificate and schedule must be signed by an Official Veterinary
Surgeon appointed appropriate authority in Great Britain.

The health certificate referred to above must certify that:

  • within 24 hours of the time of loading all the pigs described in the schedule of the certificate were clinically examined, their identification marks were seen to be clear as stated in the schedule
  • they were found to be free from any evidence of infectious or contagious disease including ectoparasitism and were in all respects healthy and fit to travel

Cleansing and disinfection requirements

The transport vehicle must be cleansed so as to remove all visible organic matter and disinfected with a disinfectant approved by the competent authority of the exporting country before loading of the animals. 

During transport, the imported animals must not come into contact with animals that are not certified to the same health status.

Post import conditions 

The imported animals must be moved directly to a slaughter plant in Northern Ireland. Animals must not be moved to a market. 

The person in charge of the holding of destination of the imported animals must advise the local Divisional Veterinary Officer of their arrival not later than the next working day following importation.

Imported pigs must be presented to an officer of the Department for checking on the slaughter premises if required.

On arrival at the meat plant/abattoir the health certificate(s) which accompanied the animals must be given to an officer of DAERA, or in the absence of an officer of DAERA, be given to an employee of the meat plant/abattoir for transmission to the officer of DAERA.

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Import conditions of pigs following attendance at a show in GB

You must apply to DAERA Trade Section ( 028 77442 096) at least 10 working days prior to import to obtain a Specific import licence permitting you to import animals from Great Britain. The licence conditions are set out below.

Port of entry

Landing must take place at the port of Larne and the person in charge of the animals must report immediately following disembarkation to a Portal Inspector and must co-operate with DAERA staff as required. Animals may not leave the Port until a Portal Inspector has authorised such departure.

Identification requirements

The animals to be imported must be clearly and permanently identified by means of an individual and unique identification tattoo and/or ear tag which permits tracing of their premises of origin. This must include an individual number (of not more than 4 characters) to distinguish it from any other animal marked with the same holding number.

Health certificate guarantees

The animals to be imported must be accompanied by the original health certificate that accompanied them from Northern Ireland to Great Britain. They must also be accompanied by an original valid health certificate and a schedule giving details of the individual ear numbers, breed, sex and age of the animals to which it relates and the registration number of the vehicle
in which the animals are being transported to Northern Ireland. The health certificate and schedule must be signed by an Official Veterinarian (OV) appointed by the appropriate authority in Great Britain.

The health certificate referred to above must certify that:-

  • insofar as can be determined on the basis of an owner’s declaration, since their arrival in GB, the pigs have not resided in any premises other than those specified at Part III (b) of the health certificate that accompanied the pigs from NI to GB. Furthermore they did not come into contact with animals of a lower health status. 
  • within 24 hours of the time of loading all the animals described in the schedule to the Health Certificate were clinically examined, their identification marks were seen to be clear and as stated in the schedule and they were found to be free from any clinical evidence of infectious or contagious disease including ectoparasitism and were in all respects healthy and fit to travel

Cleansing and disinfection requirements

The transport vehicle must be cleansed so as to remove all visible organic matter and disinfected with a disinfectant approved by the competent authority of the exporting country before loading of the animals.
During transport, the imported animals must not come into contact with animals that are not certified to the same health status.

Post import conditions

Immediately after landing imported pigs must be moved directly to the holding of destination in Northern Ireland as shown in the health certificate.

The person in charge of the holding of destination of the imported animals must advise the local Divisional Veterinary Officer of their arrival not later than the next working day following importation. This requires the importer to submit the health certificate that accompanied the animals from GB to the local DVO along with the relevant Aujeszky’s disease movement documents.

Imported pigs must be presented to an officer of the Department for checking and post import testing on the premises of destination. The option of post import testing (by DAERA staff) will be made available if requested.

More useful links

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