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Exporting Cattle from the Isle of Man

The Isle of Man was recently awarded TB Free status. From 18 April 2016, Cattle for Export are no longer required to have a TB test prior to being exported. Animals for breeding or rearing must be resident on the holding of origin for 30 days prior to export.

This will encourage UK buyers to be more receptive to the purchase of Manx exports as the need for pre-movement TB testing on their holding, and hence the perceived risk of restriction, will be removed.

If you are planning to export cattle to the UK - DEFA Agriculture requires the following information at least* 3 working days prior to the lairage, in order to prepare the 'Export Health Certificate':

  • official ear mark
  • breed
  • sex
  • date of birth
  • name and address of exporter
  • address of lairage premises
  • name and address of destination
  • whether the cattle are going to a show / sale
  • name of certifying Veterinary Officer together with date/time of lairage
  • name of the Transporter and their authorisation number

* For email applications please allow 3 working days' notice; for any other types of application (for example, post or fax) please allow 4 working days.

If you are planning to export to the EU (not including UK) then the department require 10 days' notice upon receipt of the completed EU application form. This form is available for download on this page.

Exporter requirements

  1. Exporters must submit full details – amendments/additions will not be accepted from third parties.
  2. Exporters must notify DEFA of any animals which have not travelled. DEFA are required to provide this information to DEFRA's Animal Health office in Preston no later than 2 days following export.
  3. Pre-1996 cattle can no longer be exported due to DEFRA's decision to impose movement restrictions on all cattle born before 1 August 1996.

Export health certificate template

Please supply the animal information in the following format:

Official ear markBreedSexDate of birth
For example: UK 010 123 123456 LIMX Female 08/05/2007
For example: UK 010 123 234567 LIM Male 12/07/2006

Passports must be made available for inspection at the time of the lairage.

A proper handling system must be available with an effective means of restraint (a crush), whereby the Veterinary Officer can read the animal's identification, and carry out any examinations without risk of injury. A hard standing area must be available to examine each animal for lameness.

Please ensure your haulier has the appropriate transport authorisation to transport the animals.

Transport of calves

The following restrictions apply for the transportation of calves:

  • a calf is defined by EU law as a bovine animal of six months of age or less
  • a calf with a navel which is not completely healed is considered unfit for transport
  • calves of less than 10 days of age may only travel for a maximum of 100km (approximately 62 miles); the Regulation regards them as unfit for longer journeys
  • calves aged 14 days or less must be accompanied by their mother on journeys of over eight hours


Cattle must be handled and transported separately from other species*.

The following separations must also be applied:

  • cattle of significantly different sizes or ages*
  • sexually mature males from females
  • animals with horns from animals without horns*
  • animals hostile to each other
  • tied animals from untied animals

* This need not apply where animals have been raised in compatible groups, are accustomed to each other and where separation would cause distress or where animals are accompanied by dependent young. 

Transport of pregnant cows and cows which have recently given birth

Cows in the last 10% of pregnancy (approximately 27 days), or that have given birth in the last week, are considered not fit for transport, and are also unfit for presentation at a market.

When cows “in milk” are transported without their suckling young, they must be milked at intervals of no longer than 12 hours. 

Full details can be found in the Advice for Transporters of Cattle document.   

Health Restrictions

If a TB test has commenced, no animal from that holding can be exported until such time as the TB test has been completed satisfactorily.

Only cattle with a BVD result of Negative can be exported; those with a status of Unknown or Positive cannot be exported.

For further information please contact:

Animal Health Team – Regulation Directorate

Thie Slieau Whallian

Foxdale Road

St John's


Telephone:+44 1624 685844

Email:Send Email

The Department of Environment, Food and Agriculture is committed to ensuring that its services are accessible to all. If you require these documents in an alternative format and / or language please contact us to discuss your needs.

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