Importation Guidelines

(Importation Guidelines Revised January 2014)

These guidelines have been drawn up with the help of the Belgium and Irish herd books, in addition to drawing upon expertise from within the Society, to provide a source of reference to members planning to import Pedigree British Blue cattle into Great Britain and Northern Ireland. The objective being to steer the inexperienced away from some of the pitfalls that exist.

1. Key Points

1.1 No imported animal can be entered onto the British Herd Book, without it being issued with an authorised International Pedigree. (Pedigree Officiel stamped with a Visa for International use, from Belgium or a Full Pedigree from the Republic of Ireland) This Pedigree can only be issued by the Herd Book of the country of origin, of the animal. A British Herd Book Pedigree will only be issued after the appropriate fee has been paid.

1.2 It is the responsibility of the purchaser or his/her agent to ensure that the animal arrives in this country with all the correct paper work. A simple phone call to the Herd Book in which the animal is currently registered will enable an animal’s Pedigree status to be checked prior to purchase and subsequent export.

1.3 The purchaser should ensure in writing, on the contract of sale, that it is the responsibility of the vendor or his/her agent, to confirm that the animal has International Pedigree status, and has been issued with the necessary health certificates, prior to the export of the animal. Contact your local Ministry Divisional Health Office for guidance on current health requirements.

1.4 A purchaser is ill advised to import an animal from overseas prior to it being inspected and DNA tested in its country of origin. Failing to do this may result in there being delays and extra costs in obtaining an International Pedigree. Without this the animal will only be of commercial value. You are strongly advised to check the animals height and weight against the Societies ‘Inspection Criteria at Society Sales,’ ‘Blue Facts Sheet’, before purchasing and importing the animal.

1.5 Seek advice as to when and how moneys should be paid and confirm who is paying for any fees likely to be incurred.

1.6 An importer is advised, prior to purchase, to seek advice from the Society Secretary. He will then put you in touch with a member of the Society, experienced in livestock importations, who will be able to guide you.

1.7 Pedigree cattle and their subsequent offspring, imported into the United Kingdom, can only be entered onto the British Herd Book, if the imported animal is registered within 6 months of the date recorded on the Importation Health Certificate. An imported animal may be registered after the above mentioned 6 month period, on payment of a £250 + VAT late registration fee, in addition to any importation fee laid down by the Society.

1.8 It is not the responsibility of the British Blue Cattle Society to carry out inspections for, or on behalf of, an overseas Herd Book or Society; however the Society Secretary is more than pleased to advise a member in order to ensure that the importation and the pedigree transfers take place, as smoothly as is possible.

1.9 Pedigree Certificates are passed from Herd Book to Herd Book. An animal will only be transferred onto the British Herd Book, and a new pedigree issued, once the appropriate fee has been received. Please see current price list for details.

2. Importing an animal from Belgium

2.1 An imported animal must have been issued with a “Pedigree Officiel” which has been overstamped with a “Visa for International Use” before this animal can be entered into the British Herd Book. In order to safeguard against fraud, this “Pedigree Officiel” is secured within a plastic laminate. This must be intact and untampered with. The pedigree status of an animal can be checked, at time of purchase, by a phone call to the Belgian Herd Book (Tel 00 32 83 23 06 12 from GB).

2.2 A “Carte Provisoire D’Identification” is a local document, used within Belgium to record the birth and possible parentage of an animal prior to inspection at approximately 12 months of age, before a Pedigree Officiel is issued. It is not an official pedigree certificate, even if stamped with a Visa for International Use. It must only be considered as an unofficial document issued to help the breeders to manage their herds”. An official “Carte Provisoire D’Identification” is stamped with a visa and secured in a plastic laminate. A photocopied document has no value and is not recognised.

2.3 Before export, all animals, whether pedigree or commercial must have been issued with a health certificate. “Certificate Sanitaire”, this is only valid for one month (cleared for EBL, TB and Brucellosis).
“Health Certificate 1” (confirms that the animal has not be vaccinated against Foot and Mouth disease)

2.4 “Visa for International Use”
The purpose of this Visa is to check that:
a) the animal has not been sanctioned in connection with the regulations regarding the use of illegal Growth Promoters
b) the special requests of the importing country (e.g. blood typing) have been enforced.
The “Visa for International Use” is added to a “Pedigree Officiel” or “Carte Provisoire D’Identification” when the two health documents have been issued for the animal (ref 1.3) and are in order and that “a” and “b” above have been checked. This permits the animal to be exported.

2.5 Pedigree inspections in Belgium are carried out at approximately 12 months of age. Uninspected animals, deemed for export, can be inspected at short notice, on request to the Belgian Herd Book, and a “Pedigree Officiel” issued prior to the animal leaving Belgium. It is not their policy to inspect any animal under the age of 10 months.

2.6 All animals being exported from Belgium to the UK must be DNA tested before a “Pedigree Officiel”, stamped with the “Visa for International Use”, is issued.
Delays can occur in issuing a “Pedigree Officiel” of the animal has not been blood typed/DNA tested and the parentage not confirmed.

2.7 DEFRA needs to be advised, prior to the importation of any animal, to ensure that they are satisfied with the animal’s health status.

3. Importations from the Republic of Ireland

3.1 An imported animal must have been issued with a “Full Pedigree” before it can be entered into the British Herd Book.

3.2 To be issued with a Full Pedigree the animal will have been DNA tested and parentage verified by approximately 6 months of age and inspected at approximately 12 months of age (10-14 months).

3.3 It is the responsibility of the importer to ensure that the health status of the animal is in order, to satisfy the requirements of the country of destination.

3.4 It is policy for pedigrees to be transferred from Herd Book to Herd Book. The pedigree status of an animal can be checked at any time, before purchase, by contacting the Secretary, The Belgian Blue Cattle Society of Ireland Ltd.

4. General Advice

4.1 When selecting an animal for importation request to see:
a) The original “Pedigree Officiel” of the animal in question. If this is not available, check the animal’s status with the Herd Book in that country. If all is in order then request a temporary photocopy for your records until you are issued with an official pedigree in your name, from the British Herd Book. This will provide you with the certificate number should you need to trace it at a later date.
b) Pedigree’s of the animal’s Sire and Dam.

4.2 If female, check as to whether the animal is in calf, or has been served. If a bull, inquire as to whether the animal has been tried, and worked satisfactorily.

4.3 Always buy on the understanding that the animal is fully qualified to enter the United Kingdom, and the British Herd Book. i.e. issued with an International Pedigree stamped by the Herd Book of origin, which is encapsulated in plastic, and in addition, has been issued with the required health status certificates.

4.4 When agreeing price, arrange where, and at what point the moneys will be paid. Ensure that it is clarified who is paying for health tests, any Herd Book inspections required, and the fee for the issue of an International Pedigree. A bankers draft is often the easiest method of payment.

4.5 Having selected you animal, make certain that you make a record of the following information.
Ear Tag and Tattoo numbers, the animal’s age and parentage
This will enable you to ensure that the animal you have selected is the one that was exported to you.

4.6 When an animal is purchased from outside the United Kingdom, you are advised to contact the DEFRA – Divisional Animal Health Office, to clarify the position with regard to quarantine arrangements, and current requirements with regard to health status documents. When the animal’s date of arrival on your farm is known, advise your local DEFRA office and check, in addition, for any health precautions you need to undertake e.g. Warble Fly Dressings, BTV vaccinations or other health checks etc.

4.7 It is often cheaper and easier to transport a number of animals at one time. Co-ordinating transport with other importers is advisable if possible. However, do not allow this convenience to overshadow the importance of ensuring that the paperwork is in order prior to export.

4.8 When an animal is exported, it is general policy for the animal’s pedigree to be transferred from one Herd Book to another Herd Book; the Secretary in the imported country then issuing the revised Pedigree in the new owner’s name. Request a photocopy for your records during this transition period.

4.9 Inform the British Secretary, so that he can take steps to oversee the smooth transfer of the pedigree into the British Herd Book. This is very much in you interests.

Useful Addresses:

The Belgian Blue Cattle Breeding Society of Ireland Ltd, Farney, Holycross, Thurles, County Tipperay, ROI. Tel 00 353 504 43870

Pierre Mallieu, General Secretary, Herd-Book de la Race Blanc-Bleu Belge, 4 rue des Champs Elysees, B-5590, Caney, Belgium. Tel. 00 32 83 23 06 12. Fax. 00 32 83 21 63 92.

Devolved bodies:
DEFRA, HCC, QMS, DARD. Contact your local Divisional Animal Health Office.

These guidelines are of a general nature only and are believed to be correct at the date of issue. The Society accepts no responsibility for any inaccuracies or omissions in the information contained herein. A member should take appropriate advice on any specific transactions.