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Illegally imported pets? Guidance and compliance flowchart for vets in Northern Ireland

When, who and how to report to the competent authorities if you suspect the illegal importation of pets in Northern Ireland

Veterinary surgeons can often be the first to suspect that an animal may have been illegally imported when a client brings their pet for its first check-up. It is therefore paramount that, where appropriate vets, DAERA Veterinary Officers (DVOs) and DAERA Direct Regional Offices work together to report and act upon the suspected illegal importation of animals in a timely and effective manner.

To achieve this, the British Veterinary Association (BVA) and DAERA have developed the following guidance note and flowchart to support vets in their considerations of when and how to report the suspected illegal importation of pets.

This document provides summary guidance on navigating client confidentiality, how to report concerns of illegal imports and an overview of how DAERA are likely to respond.

If you’re concerned that an animal is illegally imported, here are our top tips:

  1. If you have any suspicions that the animal in your care does not comply with Pet Travel Scheme requirements on the handy joint BVA and DAERA compliance flowchart below, you can contact your DVO at the nearest DAERA Direct Regional Office.
  2. Look up a direct email for your local DAERA Direct Regional Office.
  3. Note this email down on the flowchart and put it up in visible locations around your practice for staff to refer to.
  4. Reporting isn’t a legal requirement, but if you wish to report your suspicions and are unsure about how to navigate client confidentiality or data protection, read our guidance note for more information.

Guidance for suspected illegally imported pets in Northern Ireland


Flowchart for illegally imported pets compliance in Northern Ireland