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Trichinella pork export testing requirement - Defra Q&A

22nd Jan 2021 / By Alistair Driver

Defra has provided an update on the requirement for pork and live pigs to be tested for trichenalla as a condition for export to the EU.  

It has been a frustrating situation, as pork exporters are now facing a requirement for all pork to be tested, despite the European Commission saying it would accept our controlled housing status as a necessary assurance, meaning we would not be required to test everything. We already test a proportion of the pigs by default but not all. 

See the Members' Area (Jan 21 entry). The situation is adding to the delays in exporting pork. 

Defra has sent the NPA a Q&A explaining what is going on: 

What is happening with the UK’s listing application for trichinella controls and the export of live pigs and pig meat?

Defra applied to the EU Commission for listing of GB as a third country to allow us to certify live pigs or pig meat for export as coming from controlled housing without the need for trichinella testing.

GB has been granted use of a derogation from testing un-weaned piglets under the age of 5 weeks.

We are awaiting the final outcome of our application regarding the ability to certify other pigs or fresh meat from them as coming from controlled housing without the need for trichinella testing.

Until the outcome is known, GB exports of live pigs or fresh pig meat will not be able to be certified as coming from controlled housing

When will the final outcome be known?

This is not expected before the end of February 2021 at the earliest. We will keep industry updated on the latest position.

Is this a change to the guidance issued on 1 January 2021?

This latest position reflects the status of Defra’s discussions with the EU Commission. It is intended to reduce the risk of pigs and pig meat being rejected when entering Member States.

What about exports from Northern Ireland?

Northern Ireland does not need to be listed as a third country for export purposes but does need to be identified alongside Member States as a country using controlled housing.

The Commission has advised that this process is complete. This means NI is recognised as applying controlled housing conditions and can make use of the derogation not to have to test pigs or pig meat coming from such conditions.

NI is also able to apply the derogation from testing un-weaned piglets under five weeks old.

What is Government doing about exports already in transit that may have been certified as coming from controlled housing?

Any GB exporter experiencing problems on entry to a Member State should contact Defra at SM-Defra-traders (DEFRA) traders@defra.gov.uk