Livestock Movements, Identification and Tracing

Whether you keep one animal as a pet or a commercial herd/flock you need to be registered with Defra. If you already keep cattle, sheep, goats or pigs and have not registered you must do so immediately

In the event of a disease outbreak, the precise location of all livestock is essential for effective measures to control and eradicate highly contagious viruses. To try and stop the spread of disease there are strict rules controlling the identification and movements of livestock.

If you want to keep farm animals - or apply for an agricultural subsidy - you need to get a County Parish Holding (CPH) number from the Rural Payments Agency (RPA). To register the land your livestock will be kept at, contact the RPA. More details can be found on the Rural Payments Agency website or you can contact them by telephone on 0845 6037777 NOTE  Call Charges May Apply Click here to find out more. Once you have your CPH number, you can move the livestock to your holding under a General Licence.

The next step is to register your livestock with the Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA). More information is available on the APHA website

The APHA regional office contact number is 01284 778150 NOTE  Call Charges May Apply Click here to find out more . You will be asked for your CPH as a reference and will be able to register your livestock over the phone. If your correspondence address is different from the herd/flock location, inform them and confirm they have the correct details.

When your livestock are registered, a flock/herd mark will automatically be created. You will be sent a registration document which will contain your personal details, CPH and flock/herd mark. If any of your details change, you must inform them within one month of the change.

More information is available from the Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs website concerning the keeping of Keeping sheep, goats, pigs and deer

Animal Movement

  • Herd marks for pigs are one or two letters followed by four digits, e.g. AB1234 or A1234.
  • Flock/herd marks for cattle, sheep and goats are six digits, e.g. 123456.

Last Updated: 10 February 2020