Live exports both to other EU Member States and to 3rd countries are a vital component of Ireland’s livestock industry and play an important role in ensuring competition in the market place by providing an alternative market outlet for farmers.
The ongoing search for new, non-EU markets is a priority. The role of the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine (DAFM) is to create the conditions in which live exporters can secure contracts. This involves agreeing on sanitary conditions with non-EU countries under terms as favourable as possible for Irish exporters, in keeping with the country’s own requirements.
The Department continues to ensure live exports take place with due regard for the welfare of all animals exported.
Value of live exports as a percentage of total agri-food exports
|Value of exports of live animals (€ million)||432||399||430||339|
|Value of live animal exports as a % of total agri-food exports||4.1%||3.5%||3.6%||2.8%|
(Source: CSO Agri-Food statistics)
The main livestock animals exported from Ireland are cattle and sheep.
This is a list of non-EU countries with which DAFM has agreed export health certificates.
HORSES (not for slaughter)
If you wish to export horses (not for slaughter) to a non-EU country with whom Ireland has not yet agreed a health certificate
General requirements will include that the animals are clearly identifiable, undergo a veterinary inspection, and are fit to travel. The animals must also fulfil the criteria set out in the official health certificate for the destination country.
The destination country will advise on specific rules on the herds of origin, history of the animals, specific tests and health status which apply at the time of export.
Detailed information on animal identification and movement can be found here.
Country Specific Pages
EU Member States (except UK and France)
There is free movement of animals between EU Member States, subject to compliance with EU trade legislation. See below for specific requirements for individual species of animal.
The animals must be properly identified, undergo a veterinary inspection, be fit to travel, and be accompanied by an Intra-Community Trade Animal Health Certificate (ITAHC), issued under the EU TRACES system by the Department.
Cattle are usually exported from approved assembly centres and must complete a 30-day residency period on a holding and a TB test prior to export. A list of assembly centres can be found here.
Trade in cattle with certain EU Member States is subject to additional guarantees in relation to infectious bovine rhinotracheitis (IBR). Please click here for further information.
Live pigs, sheep and goats
The animals must be properly identified, undergo a veterinary inspection, and be fit to travel. The animals must also be accompanied by an Intra-Community Trade Animal Health Certificate (ITAHC) issued under the EU TRACES system by the Department.
If you have any questions, please contact your local DVO.
Live horses to other EU countries (except UK and France)
The animals must be fit to travel; be microchipped, be accompanied by a valid passport issued by an approved passport-issuing body and by an Intra-Community Trade Animal Health Certificate (ITAHC) issued under the EU TRACES system by the Department.
If you have questions, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.