Despite the lockdown in the last 18 months, the ET department of LLM Farm Vets (UKET) has been very busy indeed. Perhaps it’s due to the lack of shows and more people have decided to carry on flushing despite the pandemic. Most of the ET work is still for the domestic market. However, some flushes are carried out for potential export.

Important changes are happening to bovine embryo exports due to us leaving the EU in January of this year. The rules for exporting embryos to
Europe has changed.

  • As of 21 April 2021 all donor animals must be identified with a GB in their ear tag (these can be ordered via your ear tag supplier)
  •  All embryos will need to be labelled with the GB code either on the straw or the receptacle (this can be done at time of freezing)
  • Donors will need to be residents for at least 6 months in the UK

Importantly, donors are not permitted to be flushed for export if they have ever resided in a herd of lower health status, namely TB. This could make a lot of donors ineligible for export in the future. To reflect these new rules, there will be new Export Health Certificates (EHC) for bovine embryos to EU. These were to be introduced in August 2021 but have now been deferred until 15th of January 2022. This means that any old exportable embryos (prior to 21st April 2021) can still be exported using the current EHC which does not reflect the new rules. So, if you want to export these embryos, you only have until 15th January 2022 to do so.

Exports to other countries (outside Europe) are not affected by the new rules, but please contact the ET office if you are thinking of exporting any of your embryos, as we have to apply for disease clearance (called an AB 56 form) PRIOR to flushing. Also, remember to put a GB tag in your donor and make sure you use semen from an EU stud. Please keep the straws used and provide the name of the supplying AI company/semen store. This is required to verify the status of the semen. Although there is no blood sampling required from the donors for export to EU, however other counties outside the EU often require blood sampling.

Please check with myself direct or via the ET office Meanwhile, we have experienced some software difficulties with our embryo transfer database (ETD). We are in the processing of building another version thanks to our VetPartners colleagues at Kingshay. Please bear with Emma and Becky when asking for your ET records/ inventories, as we have to cross-reference it with the paperwork. We hope to have the new database up and running soon. We also hope thereafter to bring back the client portal where you can view your ET records/inventories online again!