UK meat production for export safe for next 12 months as Defra backs down

UK meat production for export safe for next 12 months as Defra backs down

The requirement for veterinary visit attestations for SHAs for export certificates has been pushed back another year to 13th December 2023.

The move means that, for the next 12 months at least, UK meat production will remain compliant for export to the EU.

Back in October all the leading meat trade bodies wrote to the then Defra minister, Mark Spencer, to alert him to the new red tape that was about to be imposed on 13th December this year.

In its briefing note to OVs APHA (Animal & Plant Health Agency, part of Defra) informed Official Veterinarians (OVs) and other veterinary certifiers that for export of Products of Animal Origin (POAO) to the EU, the EU requirement for farms of origin to
have a regular veterinary visit can be certified as follows:

  • Until 13th December 2023, this EU requirement can continue to be certified based on farmer declaration.
  • After 13th December 2023, farmer declarations will no longer be accepted and this EU requirement must be certified based on other evidence such as membership of arecognised farm assurance scheme or via a valid veterinary declaration.

As the trade bodies advised, with 72% of all meat exports going to the EU, this would have had a devastating effect on farmers, auction markets and meat processors. They also said it would have had an immediate impact on livestock prices in the UK as well as causing significant and costly disruption for the supply chain, driving food price inflation for consumers as the industry could have been forced to recover lost export revenue and additional costs through higher prices.

They also said the issue was simple and entirely avoidable.

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