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Live animals

Cattle embryos


South Africa (ZA)

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Importing country requirements

It is the exporter's responsibility to ensure that the animal meets the importing country requirements.  Additional information to assist exporters with how to prepare reproductive material for export is available on the Department's website.

There are no agreed conditions for the export of cattle embryos to the Republic of South Africa.

An import permit is required.

Information about the process required to import animals into South Africa can be found on the Republic of South Africa Department of Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development website.

As the importing country requirements may change without advice to the Department you should check the importing country's documentation carefully at the time of preparation for export.

Contact details for DARLLRD
Where an importing country issues an import permit, the exporter must ensure the animal meets any requirements in the permit.

Health requirements

The health requirements given in this entry are a guide only, based on conditions commonly found on South Africa's import permits.

Health certification

I, _______________________ , a duly authorised Government Veterinary Officer, after due enquiry, certify that:

  1. 1) The team conducting the collection of the embryos is officially recognised as an embryo collection team by the veterinary authorities of the exporting country and the collection procedures followed by the team are in accordance with the stipulations of the Manual of the International Embryo Transfer Society (IETS Manual). This includes the trypsin wash.

  2. 2) The embryos were sired by bulls whose semen qualified for export (according to RSA semen Import Protocol) and who were continuously resident at an AI centre which is under the control and supervision of a veterinarian approved by the State Veterinary Authority, for a period of at least one (1) month prior to collection, and in that time had not been used for natural mating.

  3. 3) The country is officially free from Vesicular Stomatitis.

  4. 4) The country or zone where the donor originates from is an OIE recognised Foot and Mouth Disease free zone without vaccination.

  5. 5) There has been no clinical, pathological, laboratory or other evidence of Johne's disease for the past 3 years in the herd of origin.

  6. 6) The donor cows -

    1. 6.1) are healthy and clinically free from diseases known to be transmitted via semen or embryos;

    2. 6.2) have passed with negative results -

      1. 6.2.1) intradermal tuberculin tests with both avian and mammalian tuberculin within three (3) months or that the animals originate from certified tuberculosis free herds.

      2. 6.2.2) complement fixation tests for brucellosis within three (3) months prior to removal of embryos or collection of semen, or that the animals originate from certified brucellosis free herds.

      3. 6.2.3) a virus isolation test on blood by tissue culture inoculation for three passages, for Bovine Viral Diarrhoea.

  7. 7) The embryos were:

    1. 7.1) conceived by in vivo fertilisation.

    2. 7.2) examined at least 50x magnification and the entire surface of the zona pellucida found to be intact and free of adherent material. The embryos were not manipulated in any way.

    3. 7.3) washed, including trypsin treatment, processed, put into straws, frozen and the straws marked according to the guidelines laid down in the IETS Manual.

    4. 7.4) not washed more than 10 together and not washed together with the embryos of other donors.

    5. 7.5) shipped in cleaned and disinfected containers, filled with unused cryogenic material, and sealed under Official Veterinary supervision.

  8. 8) Embryos resulting from in vitro fertilisation or embryos which have been subjected to sexing, splitting, cloning or any manipulation which interferes with or violates the integrity of zona pellucida are not eligible for export to South Africa.

  9. 9) Identity and description of donors, description and number of embryos, consignor, consignee, Embryo Collection Team, Embryo Collection Centre, container and seal numbers and approved processing laboratory must be stipulated on the Veterinary Certificate.

Seal No: XXX

Tank Serial No.

Attachment to health certificate


Donor Dam
Donor Sire
Registration No.
Embryo Collection
No. of EmbryosStraw No.


Other requirements

Embryo transfer veterinarian declaration

In addition to the health certificate, a declaration from the Embryo Team Veterinarian is required for assessment of this export.

This template (DOCX 43 KB | PDF 201 KB) provides the format for the Embryo transfer veterinarian declaration (ETVD) for the export of bovine embryos to the Republic of South Africa.

Transport requirements

The importing country may have specific transport requirements and you should check this.

Basis for Micor entry

Based on health conditions included in a permit issued in January 2021 and importing country website and information.

Entry last reviewed 14 October 2021.

Latest updates

13/12/2021 - Extensive changes were made to all sections of this entry.
Last updated: 31/03/2023 12:30 AMCreated: 15/01/2015 12:35 PM