Please note that the planned industrial action from 30th October 2023 to 3rd November 2023 will heavily affect services from Northern Ireland’s Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs (DAERA). This disruption to DAERA’s veterinary and animal health functions poses risks to animal welfare, public health, and maintaining efficient supply chains. Businesses utilising DAERA’s services should review the Department’s statement closely and make contingency arrangements.
Animal Slaughter and Processing
(a) DAERA indicates it cannot guarantee official controls and activities at abattoirs and processing facilities during the action.
(b) DAERA will prioritise poultry slaughter and processing as a mitigation, but stresses food operators should ready themselves for serious disruption.
Live Animal and Product Exports
(a) Export certificates for live animals and goods to GB, Ireland, the EU, and third countries will all be impacted.
(b) Exporters should submit applications right away, however DAERA says processing cannot be assured if backlogs develop.
SPS Inspections at NI Ports and Airports
(a) DAERA cannot promise official controls for Sanitary and Phytosanitary goods at NI ports during the action.
(b) SPS goods for the UK should still ship with documentation and may face retrospective checks.
(c) SPS goods heading to the EU must go through an EU inspection facility. DAERA recommends careful pre-notification and paperwork completion.
(d) Traders should postpone live animal shipments to NI if feasible.
Disease Control and Monitoring
(a) DAERA indicates it cannot ensure important veterinary disease services like TB testing throughout the action period.
IT Systems and Inquiries
(a) The online NIFAIS/APHIS portal will remain operational, but IT assistance is uncertain.
(b) DAERA states timely responses to veterinary questions and correspondence are not guaranteed.
This disruption poses major challenges. We strongly advise clients to thoroughly prepare where possible as the situation unfolds. If you require guidance in navigating this regulatory uncertainty, please contact us.