Changes in legislation from 13th December 2023 will require all producers selling livestock for slaughter to have had an annual farm veterinary visit to allow their animals, and/or part of any animal, to be exported out of the UK. The purpose is to comply with export requirements to verify the absence of notifiable disease and provide general advice on farm biosecurity.
Why is this changing?
The Statutory Health Attestation is required from the 13 December 2023 to certify exports of POAO (Products of Animal Origin) to the EU. The EHCs (Export Health Certificates) require that the animals' farm of origin has undergone regular visits by a veterinary surgeon.
What do producers need to do?
Producers will be required to obtain a signed declaration from their vet that the visit has taken place.
The LAA recommends that producers take steps now to obtain a signed declaration from their vet.
The veterinary attestation template can be found here: veterinary attestation template
This should be signed and completed by your vet.
Obtaining a signed veterinary attestation must be done at least once over a 12-month period and can be combined with any other routine veterinary visit, including government supported initiatives such as the Animal Health and Welfare Pathway in England.
Farmers and vets must keep a copy of this declaration for their records and provide a copy to their livestock auction market or meat processor if asked. How this paperwork is passed down the supply chain is yet to be confirmed by government officials.
Farms which are part of qualifying assurance schemes do not need to complete the veterinary declaration. Membership of these farm assurance schemes is accepted as evidence that a premises of origin meets the requirement for regular health visits from a vet. The qualifying schemes are:
- Annual health and welfare review (England only)
- Quality Meat Scotland (QMS)
- Farm Assured Welsh Livestock Beef and Lamb Scheme (FAWL) (Welsh Lamb and Beef Producers Ltd (WLBP))
- Red Tractor
Farmer declarations used up until 13 December
Farmer declarations can continue to be used as a source of evidence for the certification of the ‘regular vet visit’ until 13 December 2023. After this date, certification will be needed from either membership of a qualifying farm assurance scheme or via a valid veterinary declaration.
It should be noted that some parts of all animals slaughtered in the UK are exported to the EU. Therefore, this requirement is applicable to all animals.
The LAA continues to represent the interests of livestock markets and British farmers on this matter.