Cattle from NI that are exhibited at upcoming pedigree sales in Britain will still face a six-month standstill period if they are not sold or are bought by another NI-based breeder.

The rule, which has been in place since January 2021, stems from NI protocol element of the Brexit withdrawal agreement.

The export health certificate (EHC) which is required to get NI livestock back from sales in Britain states that a 180-day residency period must be completed before stock can return.

Local pedigree breeders hoped a new EHC, which allows NI cattle to return from Britain straightaway, could be used at the main pedigree sales this autumn.

However, the Irish Farmers Journal understands that this will not be the case as none of the upcoming sales in Britain have been licensed as export approved sales.

This licence is a requirement under the new EHC which allows cattle to return immediately to NI if they have been in Britain for 15 days or less.

Several of the main pedigree cattle societies have sales in Britain in mid-October. This includes a Limousin sale in Carlisle, as well as separate Charolais and Simmental sales which are both being held in Stirling.

A smaller Simmental sale is scheduled for Carlisle in early December and there had been suggestions that this could be the first sale where the new EHC could be used.

However, it is understood that various requirements relating to other sales that are happening in the mart around the same time meant the organisers did not proceed with having an export-approved event.