EARA has highlighted the issues that could affect the efficient transportation of animals and animal related products used for research if there is a no-deal Brexit.
The submission to the UK Parliament Science and Technology Committee inquiry on Brexit, Science and Innovation: preparations for a no-deal by the EARA Brexit Taskforce, examined the import and export to and from the UK, of purpose-bred research animals, biological samples from research animals (blood, tissues, organs, embryos), medical and pharmaceutical supplies, plus supplies of specialised animal feed and research diets.
EARA Executive Director, Kirk Leech said: “Our main concern is that any logistical problems with transport and processing times, arising from lack of preparation for a no-deal Brexit, will have a negative effect on scientific investigation and animal welfare.”
Among the issues raised were:
• The Department of the Environment Farming and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) would need significant new resourcing to enable the new checks required for entry into the UK, through Border Inspection Posts, for animals and biological samples transiting through the EU from outside the EU.
• In a no-deal scenario, exports of biological samples would require compliance with customs formalities and export health certificates (EHCs) for each individual shipment for all animal species. And as a third party to the EU, the UK will need to negotiate the content of each certificate separately with every member state.
• New process requirements will also be needed for the import of pathogen-free eggs for vaccine manufacture.
Among the recommedations made in the submission, the Taskforce said that in the event of a no-deal Brexit, the UK should cease applying stricter EU measures requiring the issuance of import permits for CITES Appendix II species, which include monkeys.
There was also concern that DEFRA does not have the resources to cope with the demand for Export Health Certficates (EHCs) and CITES permits.
Notes to editors
The European Animal Research Association (EARA) has brought together a group of organisations under a Brexit Taskforce, that supports and represents the interests of European biomedical research using animals. The Taskforce comprises the following organisations: EARA, AnimalHealth Europe, Charles River Laboratories, Covance, Ellegaard Göttingen Minipigs, Envigo, GSK, Marshall BioResources, Wellcome Sanger Institute, UK National Office of Animal Health and Understanding Animal Research.
The European Animal Research Association (EARA), is a pan-European organisation that communicates and advocates in support of biomedical research using animals, by providing accurate and evidence-based information. We aim to educate the public on the benefits of animal research, partner with research stakeholders, and promote the creation and development of national networks. EARA was created by academic institutions, associations and the life science industry to provide a European platform for the public and other external stakeholders to be informed and learn about animal research, its benefits and its limitations.