Start now on the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (DARD) website
You must have a licence from the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (DARD) if you run an organisation involved in the artificial reproduction of animals.
You’ll need to show that you’re suitable to hold a licence and that:
- issuing a licence won’t encourage the spread of disease
- you have adequate facilities for the collection, storage, distribution or sale of semen
You can’t import the semen or ova of any animal into Northern Ireland unless it’s allowed under the terms of your licence.
This doesn’t apply to:
- bovine semen, which is the subject of Council Directive 88/407/EE
- bovine embryos, which are the subject of Council Directive 89/556/EEC
- porcine semen, which is the subject of Council Directive 90/429/EEC
- equine ova and embryos, which are the subject of Commission Decision 95/294/EC
- equine semen, which is the subject of Commission Decision 95/307/EC
- ovine and caprine semen, ova and embryos, which are the subject of Commission Decision 95/388/EC
- porcine ova and embryos, which are the subject of Commission Decision 95/483/EC
You must let anyone with written authorisation from DARD enter any part of your premises (including vehicles) so they can check that everything is being done to meet the terms of your licence.
You must also let them carry out any tests or investigations on animals, plant and equipment. Where the premises are your private accommodation, they’ll either need a warrant, or will give you at least 24 hours’ notice.
You must also be able to provide any information that you’re expected to keep as the licence holder.
How to apply
Contact DARD for information on how to apply for a licence. You may have to pay an application fee.
Fines and penalties
If it’s believed you’ve committed an offence, any semen or ova and their containers, and any animal, plant, equipment or documents can be seized.
You could be fined up to £5,000, sent to prison for up to 3 months, or both if you don’t meet the conditions of the licence. You might lose any semen, ova or animal seized.