Lairages for cattle

Please see the Export of Cattle page for further information on the change to export requirements from 15 July 2014.

Veterinary Officers of the Department of Environment, Food and Agriculture ('DEFA') or Private Veterinary Surgeons ('OV') are required to inspect farm livestock prior to their consignment to Great Britain. The animals are certified to meet the standards required by DEFRA.

DEFRA require animals to be:

  • Individually identified
  • Fit to travel
  • Free from certain specified diseases
  • From a holding free of specific diseases.

Duties of the exporter:

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.

* For email applications please allow 3 working days notice; for any other type 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.

Service provision:

While DEFA expects to be able to provide the service to all exporters meeting the above criteria there will be occasions where other duties or numerous requests for inspections will exceed the staffing resources. In such cases exports will be dealt with on a strictly 'first come first served basis'.

Document validity:

Once signed, certificates will remain valid for 72 hours provided the certified animals are kept separate as required by DEFRA. If animals are mixed or the 72 hour period is exceeded a further inspection is required.


Exporters are responsible for the costs of inspection and administration charges, which are charged on a cost recovery time basis (office to office) with mileage charge added.

Identification of livestock:

Please see exports controls for pigs, cattle, and sheep in related links for requirements.

One certificate can apply to no more than one wagon or one wagon + attached trailer.

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