Cattle, sheep, pigs and goats moving from farms in Britain to those in NI must be retagged, DAERA has confirmed.

Under new post-Brexit arrangements, Britain is classified as a third country for exports to the EU, so faces new trade friction.

And with NI subject to the requirements of the NI Protocol, it effectively means that those same EU rules apply to livestock movements from Britain to NI.

As well as various requirements around customs declarations and export health certificates to accompany livestock, importers should also be aware of new tagging arrangements.

From January 2021, an “export” tag with the country code “GB” must be attached to the animal on farm in Britain.


Once the animal arrives on a farm in NI it should be re-identified. For sheep and goats this should be done within 14 days, within 20 days for cattle, and within 30 days for pigs.

The tags used to re-identify the animal should be the next tag in sequence from a producers’ normal stock collection, while for pigs the letter F should be included after the pig’s individual identification number.

No change

However, for livestock moving from NI to Britain, or into the Republic of Ireland, there are no changes to existing requirements. There is also no need to re-tag an animal coming from Britain for direct slaughter in NI.


Speaking to journalists last Thursday, UFU president Victor Chestnutt expressed his dissatisfaction with the new arrangements for cattle moving into NI, and said he had raised concerns with DAERA chief vet, Robert Huey.

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