New veterinary attestation rule for farmers to be introduced in December

25 May 2023

An image of sheep stood in a field

The NFU and other industry organisations is highlighting to its members that they should take steps now to obtain a signed declaration from their vet.

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. The veterinary attestation template should be completed and signed by your vet. 

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.

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.  The purpose is to comply with export requirements to verify the absence of notifiable disease and provide general advice on farm biosecurity.

Farmer declarations used up until 13 December

Traders and processors exporting products of animal origin to the EU or Northern Ireland, must follow the requirements set out in EU EHCs.

Since the introduction of the Animal Health Regulation, this has included the requirement for farms of origin for animals providing POAO for export to be subject to regular animal health visits by a veterinarian.

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 is recommended that all non-assured keepers of cattle, sheep, goats and pigs consigning animals for slaughter ensure they obtain a valid health attestation, as some parts of all animals slaughtered in the UK are exported to the EU.

The Chief Veterinary Officer has written to all industry organisations:


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