New licensing procedures introduced for NI imports of British semen

Northern Ireland’s Department of Agriculture has announced it will introduce new licensing procedures for importing bovine semen into the region from Great Britain.

Under the new rules put together by the Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs (DAERA), 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).

Anyone wishing to import bovine semen should familiarise themselves and be able to comply with the conditions set out in the general licence, which is available to view on the department’s website.

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.

DAERA must be notified at least 24 hours in advance of the import with details of how the semen will be transported.

As is currently standard, semen may not be taken from the port until departure has been approved by one of the designated inspectors.

Importation of semen into Northern Ireland without following the correct procedures could result in enforcement action and potential prosecution.