New Veterinary Attestation – 13 December 2023
From 13 December 2023, farmers supplying livestock from which meat or products of animal origin enter the food chain that may be exported to the EU, need to have evidence of regular vet visits at the holding prior to slaughter (excluding markets). The holding must be part of a qualifying farm assurance scheme such as Quality Meat Scotland (QMS) or Red Tractor (RT) or have a Veterinary Attestation as evidence that the holding has had a visit by a Member of the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons (MRCVS) vet within the past year. The list of qualifying Farm Assurance schemes can be found here: Farm assurance schemes: evidence of vet visits - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk).
The Scottish Government has commissioned ScotEID to develop the online Export Eligibility Checker that shows whether livestock holdings in Scotland have either; a farm assured status (QMS/RT) or a Veterinary Attestation in place. The online checker allows livestock markets and abattoirs, including those in England and Wales, to check the status of the holding the animals last moved from. Where animals have not come from a farm assured holding or a holding that does not have a Veterinary Attestation in place, resulting in the market or abattoir being unable to confirm the holding’s export eligibility status, then the animal product would not be eligible for export to the EU.
Keepers who are not members of an assurance scheme can either choose to join one or speak to their local vet and arrange to get a Veterinary Attestation. This may require the vet to make a visit for the purposes of issuing a Veterinary Attestation or the vet may be able to issue a Veterinary Attestation retrospectively for a visit they have carried out within the past year. The visit is for animal health purposes and includes an assessment of information on certain livestock diseases. The need for a visit and the issuing of the Veterinary Attestation is at the discretion of the Vet.
The Export Eligibility Checker on ScotEID will be available from the 13 December 2023. Vets will have prior access to register their clients holding(s). Further information and copies of the documentation about these new requirements can be found at Veterinary attestation for animal health visits (previously veterinary declaration) - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk).