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Imports and exports

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We have put in place various measures designed to ensure that imported animals and products of animal origin do not present unacceptable risks to public health, or to animals.

We work with the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) to implement import rules arising from the European Union (EU) and set national rules where no EU conditions are in place.

International disease surveillance work enables us to take emergency safeguard action to restrict or ban imports from countries which have confirmed an outbreak of animal disease.

Checks (both physical and documentary) are carried out on all animals and animal products from non-EU countries in approved facilities at ports or airports. These are known as Border Inspection Posts (BIPs). EU legislation lays down the requirements for BIPs. They are inspected periodically by the European Commission (EC) to ensure they meet the required standard. Currently there are no BIPs in Wales.

A review of controls on imports of animal products is published annually. The review recognises that illegal imports can only be tackled successfully with a combined effort across all relevant government departments and enforcement agencies and by raising public awareness and understanding the risks.

Useful external links

Animal Health – International Trade Centre for Exports

Animal Health – International Trade Centre for Imports

DEFRA - International Trade

Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs, Northern Ireland