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New producer attestation needed to allow export of pork to continue to the EU

18th Dec 2020 / By Zoe Davies

NPA chief executive Zoe Davies provides an important update on one aspect of the UK being treated as a third country by the EU from January 1. 

Zoe Davies1One of the vagaries of the UK departing from the EU is that we will now be treated as a third country and will therefore have to jump through a whole new load of hoops if we want to continue to trade with them. 

Every consignment of pork that leaves a UK abattoir bound for the EU from January 1, 2021 (regardless of whether we get a deal or not!) will now have to be signed off by an official vet as meeting all of the conditions laid out in the new Export Health Certificates (EHC). 

Aside from the issue related to Trichinella, which I have talked about before (and am praying we get listed in a way that means we don’t have to test every carcase…) there is also another issue that none of us ever thought would cause as much of a problem as it has – and that is the clause which states that the pig has, from birth, been kept separate from wild cloven hoofed animals…

Now in order for the official vet to sign such a statement, there needs to be evidence, and this is what we have been working on with the vets, AHDB, BPA, Defra, FSA, FSS and processors.  In truth it should be relatively simple to prove that your pigs have not been charging about in the woods with a load of wild pigs or deer, but there now needs to be a way of proving it.

To that end, your private vet will now be asked to issue you a statement (where appropriate) stating that your pigs have indeed been farmed separately from wild cloven hoofed animals with appropriate housing/fencing, and you as a producer will need to do two things:

  • Update your production information held in Pig Hub by indicating that you have a quarterly vet statement which confirms the above (this information will feed into eAML2and your licence).
  • Confirm on the eAML2 online form that the pigs you are shipping have also been farmed separately from wild cloven hoofed animals from birth – by doing this you are also confirming that the pigs have been farmed separately on suppliers farms if they weren’t born on your unit. However, if your entire supply chain is Red Tractor assured then you will be able to automatically answer ‘yes’ to this question.

If you submit your movements on a CSV file via the eAML gateway (sent to ) you will need to ensure:

  • all your holdings are updated with the confirmation that you have the new Quarterly Veterinarian Certification on Pig Hub.
  • you need to ensure that you use the new CSV template which can be downloaded from eAML system

The record for your pigs will be passed through the eAML2 system as part of the Food Chain Information (FCI) to attest that the pig has been kept separate from wild ungulates throughout its life.

This is needed so that the vet at the abattoir can sign the EHC and so the pork can be exported.  The vet certificate will be re-issued roughly every three months but will stay with you – this will need to be kept in case the processor is audited as some point by the EU.

I know it seems like a total rigmarole, but it was the easiest fix we could find in the short time we had to allow pig meat to continue to be exported from January 1. 

We are hoping that further discussion with the UK Chief Vet and her EU counterparts will in time remove the need for such a requirement, but for now we are where we are and at least we will still have an export market!

Members can access updates on all the issues around EU Exit HERE