Technical Notices on Preparing for EU Exit from the GOV.UK website:
Why maintain the trade in live animals and products of animal origin (POAO) standards at current EU level and not take this opportunity to change standards?
The Government has stated that all European legislation that is in place will be retained in UK law on the UK’s exit from the EU. This will enable trade between the UK and EU to continue after EU exit. It will also important to maintain the current high biosecurity and welfare standards and reduce the risk of incursion into the UK of epizootic disease.
What checks and controls may be required for the movement of live animals and POAO at the border between Northern Ireland (NI) and the Republic of Ireland (ROI) following EU exit in a no-deal scenario?
The UK remains committed to not imposing a hard border between NI and ROI under any circumstances. This may require limited additional arrangements. Further information will be made available as soon as possible.
Will the Government need to consider a new framework for the export and import to and from EU countries and negotiate regulations on food standards?
The Government has stated that all European legislation that is in place will be retained in UK law on the UK’s exit from the EU. This will enable trade between the UK and EU to continue after EU exit. It will also maintain the high biosecurity and high welfare standards in the UK and reduce the risk of incursion of disease into the UK. The purpose of this SI and others is to ensure the retained EU legislation is operable following EU exit.
Following EU Exit in a No Deal scenario member states will not be permitted to accept high risk Animal By Products (ABP) for example manure and feathers from UK. This will have a significant impact in NI and what plans are in place to address this?
UK Government has been liaising with the devolved administrations to explore contingency plans in the event the UK leave the EU with No Deal on a range of issues. With specific regard to APB the options of using mainland GB as a disposal route, temporary storage sites, incineration and landfill have been examined.
Trade in domestic pets has been active between ROI and NI/GB. What additional controls will the Government put in place to ensure safe breeding and animal welfare?
The Government continues to maintain and look to improve standards of companion animal welfare, where possible. Dog breeding is already controlled under the Welfare of Animals (Dog Breeding Establishments and Miscellaneous Amendments) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2013.
In addition, DAERA is working with the Irish Pet Advertising Advisory Group (IPAAG) and the Pet Advertising Advisory Group (PAAG) to promote better self-regulation of online sites advertising pets.
What checks and controls will the Government put in place to protect animal welfare on the movement of live animals and POAO between NI and the ROI following EU Exit?
The Department is committed to retaining and improving welfare in transport standards following EU exit. Domestic legislation has been updated to ensure that all UK based livestock transporters will continue to meet the current EU standards. In addition, the Government has been working with the Farmed Animal Welfare Committee (FAWC) to examine all existing standards and to make recommendations for improvements.
The island of Ireland is considered as a single epidemiological unit. What impact would the establishment of border controls have on this status in the event of a No Deal EU exit?
The single epidemiological unit approach in this context refers to the close cooperation for certain diseases between NI and the ROI with respect to animal and plant health. The UK remains committed to not imposing a hard border between NI and ROI under any circumstances. This may require limited additional arrangements. Further information will be made available as soon as possible.
Why was the Northern Ireland Order laid separately? What are the differences compared to arrangements in GB?
The SI laying process has been complex and it has not always been possible to synchronise similar SIs.
The UK remains committed to not imposing a hard border between Northern Ireland and Ireland under any circumstances. This may require limited additional arrangements. Further information will be made available as soon as possible.
There have always existed some minor differences between tarp GB and tarp NI which reflect the organisational differences in NI in respect of Central and Local Government responsibilities. I would emphasise that there are no policy changes for either GB or NI tarp legislation, this SI is about maintaining the operability of this retained EU legislation following EU exit.
What arrangements are in place to gain pre-notification of livestock and products being imported from the EU if the UK no longer has access to the tRACES system?
The Government will be replacing the tRACES system and the development of an alternative Import Notification System is nearing completion. The system will be ready on Day 1 for non EU imports and a manual system is being developed as a temporary contingency measure to be used in the event of a No Deal in respect of imports from EU.
Lack of Public/Full Consultation?
There are no policy changes proposed as a result of this SI, this instrument is specifically related to maintaining the operability of this retained EU legislation and no change to the policy intent is proposed. To that end extensive formal consultation in line with other EU exit SIs was deemed unnecessary and disproportionate.
The UK intelligence gathering, data sharing and disease alerts are all undertaken on a European scale, how will the UK continue to meet these standards following EU exit?
In the UK we have significant expertise on animal related diseases and the details on current outbreaks and potential risks, some of which are gathered by the EU, are published on a worldwide scale. This will allow our veterinary experts to continue to produce fully informed veterinary risk assessments on live animals and POAO being imported to the UK.
There is some precedent for third country access to EU notification systems, something which we will seek to negotiate with the EU. All of the systems have publically available elements which the UK will continue to be able to access after EU exit.
We will continue to gather intelligence on live animal and POAO health risks including from other organisations and networks and are constantly looking for opportunities to improve our systems. After exit, the increased freedom to amend our controls over time will enable us to tailor our approach to meet UK needs.
Taken together, this provides an exceptional capability, in terms of knowledge, skills and delivery, across the live animal and POAO biosecurity field.
Has Government prepared day 1 readiness plans to ensure that live animals and POAO can continue to move between UK and the EU following EU exit in a No Deal scenario?
An initial application for the UK to be an authorised third country in respect of the export of live animals and POAO to the EU was made by the UK Chief Veterinary Officer early November. Technical discussions with the EU are ongoing and the anticipated new terms under which live animals and POAO would move from the UK and the EU has been evaluated, however this will depend on the conditions EU will apply to UK as a result of its application for third country status.
Should there be a delay or a refusal in relation to this application for third country status all exports of live animals and POAO from the UK to EU will cease following EU exit. This will have a significant impact on the UK and particularly NI agri-food exporters.
Has the Government plans to expand its veterinary operations at NI ports to deal with the extra capacity that will be needed for veterinary checks post exit?
There are no plans at this time to expand the presence of veterinary inspectors at NI ports. There are currently no live animal Border Inspection Posts at any of the NI ports and no additional workload is forecast in respect of the checking of POAO being imported at the NI ports following EU exit. Additional DAERA inspectors will however be assigned to portal duties should there be any increase in trade flows through Northern Ireland BIPs.