The Pet Food Manufacturers Association has raised alarm bells over the severe challenges faced by pet food businesses exporting to the EU since the end of the Brexit transition period on January 1.
A survey of the PFMA membership exposed a myriad of problems and highlighted that only one-third of businesses that had attempted exports to the EU had been successful.
The UK pet food industry is valued at £3bn and in 2019 exported £285m worth of pet food to the EU compared to £45m to the rest of the world.
With exports being hugely important to the industry, businesses were now being harmed.
Michael Bellingham, PFMA chief executive, said: “We have come against red tape, vet shortages and hauliers refusing to accept animal-based products in case they are stopped at the border.
“Many official veterinarians are unwilling to take on the extra work of certifying animal by-product consignments because they were not confident about what was required.”
Experienced exporter and PFMA member World Feeds revealed it had been successfully exporting to the US but had come up against numerous barriers trying to move products into the EU from January 1. According to the PFMA, World Feeds were not alone in this experience..
The PFMA has brought these problems to the attention of the Environment Food & Rural Affairs Select Committee and whilst it is hoped that the situation may improve over time, the concern is the challenges are more than short-term teething problems.