Guidance

Bringing non-specified animal pathogens or carriers into the UK

The licences you must have and the transport conditions you must follow for bringing non-specified animal pathogens or carriers into the UK.

This page is about moving non-specified animal pathogens into the UK.

Find out about specified animal pathogens (SAPOs) and what you need to do to bring them into the UK.

What animal pathogens are

For the purposes of this guidance, an animal pathogen is either:

  • a collection or culture of organisms which may cause disease in animals or poultry
  • a combined form or any derivative of such a collection or culture of organisms

What carriers are

For the purposes of this guidance, a carrier is any non-human living creature which can carry or transmit an animal pathogen.

A carrier can also be the tissue, cell culture, body fluid, faeces, carcass, or carcass part of any such creature, if it can carry or transmit pathogens.

Animals and poultry the law protects

For the purposes of this guidance, animals are:

  • cattle
  • sheep
  • goats and all other ruminants
  • horses
  • pigs

Poultry are:

  • domestic fowl
  • turkeys
  • geese
  • ducks
  • guinea-fowls
  • pigeons
  • pheasants
  • partridges
  • quail

Licenses you must have

You must have a general licence to move non-specified animal pathogens or carriers into the UK from another EU member state.

You must have an import licence to move non-specified animal pathogens or carriers into the UK from a non-EU state.

Bringing pathogens or carriers in from another EU country

Complete a general licence

To move animal pathogens or carriers into the UK from another EU member state, you must complete a general licence.

Your general licence has no expiry date.

Get a declaration from your exporter

You must then get a written declaration from the exporter certifying that the material doesn’t contain any specified animal pathogens.

You can send your exporter a written declaration template.

You must make sure the exporter’s declaration and the general licence travel with your consignment.

Importing pathogens or carriers from non-EU countries

You must get an import licence to bring animal pathogens or carriers into the UK from a non-EU country

You don’t need an import licence if you’re importing licensed medicinal products that contain animal pathogens or carriers.

Apply for an import licence in England

Send a completed application form to the imports team at the Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA) Centre for International Trade Carlisle if you’re bringing materials into England.

You can also email the application form to imports@apha.gsi.gov.uk if you include a scan of any signatures.

The APHA will usually send you your import Iicence within 15 working days of receiving your application.

If APHA need additional information from you the 15 day clock will stop.

When you send them this information, the 15 day clock will restart.

Apply for an import licence in Wales

To apply for a licence in Wales, send a completed application form to:

Exotic Animal Diseases
Office of the Chief Veterinary Officer
Welsh Government
Cathays Park
Cardiff
CF10 3NQ

animaldiseaseslives@wales.gsi.gov.uk

Apply for an import licence in Scotland

To apply for a licence in Scotland, send a completed form to:

Rural and Environment Directorate
Animal Welfare and Endemic Diseases
P Spur
Saughton House
Broomhouse Drive
Edinburgh
EH11 3XD

Email: Animal.health@scotland.gsi.gov.uk

Import licence conditions

If your licence is granted, the licence will state:

  • how your supplier must prepare, treat, and pack the pathogen or carrier for import
  • how you must contain and handle it when it reaches England
  • how you must dispose of and store pathogens or carriers, if you don’t export after use

How long an import licence lasts

An import licence is valid for 2 to 5 years after it’s issued.

You can import multiple consignments of the same pathogen or carrier as long as you have a valid licence.

Moving imported material after it arrives

You may need a transfer licence to move imported material to another laboratory after it arrives in the UK.

Your import licence will state whether you need a transfer licence - contact the body who issued it to get one.

Report illegal movement

If you have an animal pathogen or carrier which you know has been moved without a licence, you should report this to your nearest APHA office.

Moving animals or animal products

Find out how to import live animals or animal products from non-EU countries.

Find out how to move live animals or animal products within the EU.

Published 2 February 2015