New licensing arrangements for importing bovine semen into Northern Ireland

Date published: 18 October 2018

The Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs (DAERA) has announced the introduction of new licensing procedures for importing bovine semen into Northern Ireland (NI) from Great Britain (GB).


Individuals and organisations who import bovine semen to NI from GB no longer need to obtain a specific import licence, as this material can now be imported under the terms of a general licence. However bovine semen imports must also be accompanied by an export health certificate signed by an Official Veterinarian, appointed by the Animal Plant Health Agency (APHA) in GB.

Anyone wishing to import bovine semen should familiarise themselves and be able to comply with the conditions set out in the general licence.

In order to safeguard Northern Ireland’s high health status and to mitigate the risk of disease in animals, the Department has comprehensive powers to ensure that all aspects of artificial reproduction practices are in line with existing regulations. Importation of semen into NI without following the correct procedures could result in enforcement action and potential prosecution. 

For further information on the requirements for importing semen or details of semen storage premises or a semen shop which are approved and licensed under EC trade or NI domestic trade by DAERA please e-mail:

or by writing to:

Department of Agriculture, Environment & Rural Affairs
Ballykelly House
111 Ballykelly Road,
BT49 9HP

Notes to editors: 

  1. Artificial insemination (AI) is the process of collecting sperm cells from a male animal and manually depositing them into the reproductive tract of a female.
  2. Only processed semen, which originates in Northern Ireland, and has been collected in a collection centre approved by the Department or which has been imported into Northern Ireland in accordance with the Departments import requirements, may be distributed.
  3. Any person who fails to comply with any condition subject to which a licence is granted, who contravenes any provision of the prevailing regulations or knowingly or recklessly makes a statement false in a material particular for the purposes of obtaining a licence under could be guilty of an offence and be liable to prosecution.
  4. Follow DAERA on Twitter and Facebook.
  5. All media queries should be directed to the DAERA Press Office on 028 9052 4619 or via email to Out of office hours please contact the duty press officer on 028 9037 8110.

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