Please note that the industrial action planned from 30 October to 3 November 2023 will significantly impact services provided by the NI Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs (DAERA).
This disruption across DAERA's veterinary and animal health functions presents risks around animal welfare, public health, and maintaining smooth supply chains. Customers relying on DAERA services should thoroughly review the Department's statement and make contingency plans.
Animal Slaughter and Processing
- DAERA states it cannot guarantee official controls and activities at slaughterhouses and processing plants during the action.
- As mitigation, DAERA will prioritize poultry slaughter and processing but emphasizes food businesses should prepare for major disruption.
Live Animal and Product Exports
- Export health certifications for live animals and products to GB, Ireland, the EU, and third countries will all be impacted.
- Exporters should submit certificate applications immediately, but DAERA warns it cannot promise they will be processed if there is a backlog.
SPS Goods Inspections at NI Ports
- DAERA cannot assure official controls at NI ports and airports for Sanitary and Phytosanitary goods.
- SPS goods for the UK market should still move with documentation and may undergo retrospective checks.
- SPS goods bound for the EU must enter through an EU inspection facility. DAERA advises meticulous pre-notification and paperwork.
- Traders should delay live animal movements to NI if possible.
Disease Eradication and Surveillance
- DAERA states it cannot guarantee vital veterinary disease services like TB testing during the action.
IT Systems and Queries
- The online NIFAIS/APHIS portal will stay operational, but IT support is uncertain.
- DAERA warns it cannot promise timely responses to veterinary queries and correspondence.
This disruption will likely cause significant challenges. We urge customers to thoroughly plan ahead where possible as this situation develops. Please reach out to us for guidance navigating this regulatory uncertainty.
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