Recording, transporting and movement of livestock

The following information provides advice for farmers, hauliers and transporters of horses, farm livestock, poultry, gamebirds and farmed fish for human consumption.

Transporting animals

If you transport animals you should make sure you know about the rules and procedures that affect you. The latest guidance rules can be found on the Animal Health website

If you transport animals in connection with an economic activity over 65 km (approx 40 miles) you need a valid transporter authorisation. The application forms are available on the Defra website.

To transport and handle animals in in connection with an economic activity, you also need:

  • Training and competence certification training
  • Competence certification

For more information, contact Defra on 0845 603 8395

None of these rules apply to to individuals who ride for pleasure who transport their own horses, or to people taking their own pets on holiday.

Livestock registration, movement, identification and record keeping

Before obtaining livestock - specifically pigs, sheep and goats - keepers must be registered.

There are strict laws relating to the keeping of livestock. You must:

  • obtain a holding number from the Rural Payments Agency on 03000 200 301
  • register with your local Defra office as a pig/sheep/goat keeper. They will issue you with a herd or flock number.
  • complete a licence for any movement of sheep and goats on or off your premises. A licence is also required for taking your pet pig for a walk outside your land.
  • keep records of such movements in a herd or flock book.
  • Cattle keepers should be registered with British Cattle Movements Service

Information relating to the rules for livestock movements and identifying your animals is available on the Animal Health website.

Copies of all holding registers (herd/flock books) are available from Animal Health on 01302 737554/737560.

Movement standstill rules

Whenever cattle, sheep, goats or pigs are moved onto a farm, no cattle, sheep or goats may move off for a period of six days, no pigs may move off for 20 days. Some exemptions apply.

See the Defra website for more details.

Veterinary medical records

If you are in the business of rearing, production, or treating of farm animals which will end up as food intended for human consumption, you must keep a record of any veterinary medicinal product you purchase and treat them with.

Copies of veterinary medicine record books are available from Animal Health on 01302 737554/737560.

Last updated: 22 April 2021 10:40:29