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Advice for keepers of livestock and poultry

Keeping livestock or poultry, what records need to be kept and advice on recording livestock movements.

What are my responsibilities as a keeper oflivestock or poultry?

To help prevent the spread or outbreak of animal diseases you should be aware of animal health and welfare legislation which applies to your business.

As a livestock keeper you must:

  • register as a keeper and correctly identify your livestock
  • adhere to the rules about the movements of livestock in addition to keeping appropriate on farm movement records
  • safeguard the health and welfare of your animals on farm, in transit, at livestock markets and at slaughter
  • safeguard the health of your employees and protect the public from these diseases 
  • comply with animal medicine regulations when you administer medicines to your livestock
  • protect the environment from the adverse effects of waste originating from your livestock, including animal by-products.

Read more about keeping and registering farmed animals on the GOV.UK website.

As a livestock keeper what records do I have to keep?

If you own a herd, flock or even a single animal of the most common livestock, such as cattle, sheep, goats, deer, horses or pigs, there are rules you must follow to stop the spread of diseases.

These rules cover the identification, tracing, movement of livestock and keeping of relevant records.

Record keeping

Example record keeping formats are available to use below:

Cattle movement book (30kb)

Pig record book (58kb)

View the sheep and goat holding register on the GOV.UK website

You can find further guidance on livestock record keeping on the GOV.UK website.

Veterinary medicines

Additionally, as a livestock keeper you have a requirement to maintain records under the Veterinary Medicines Regulations.

View advice and guidance on the Veterinary Medicines Regulations on the GOV.UK website.

An example record format for veterinary medicine use is available to use below:

Veterinary medicine record (36kb)  

What do I need to do to move my livestock?

There are different forms you must complete depending on the animals you are moving, and where you are moving them to or from. 

Without the appropriate movement form, livestock cannot be legally moved. 

Movement licences enable the authorities to trace livestock movements in the event of a disease outbreak.

Please note: as a livestock keeper, you have a duty to comply with the legislation relating to the welfare of animals in transport.

Moving cattle off your premises

Cattle movements are recorded through the passport system administered by British Cattle Movement Service (BCMS).

Find out more on the British Cattle Movement Services website.

Moving pigs off your premises

Before you move pigs off your premises you will need to complete the eAML2 (electronic animal movement licence) on the eAML2 website. This service is free to use.

Please note: you will need to set up the movement online and print off the page 1 haulier summary and give this summary sheet to the haulier.

No computer or internet access? 

Find out what you can do if you don't have internet access on the eAML2 website.

Moving sheep, deer or goats off your premises

Before you move the sheep, deer or goats off your premises you will need to report movements to the Animal Reporting and Movement Services (ARAMS), by either:

Please note: postal address can be found on form - do not post to the council

Read more about sheep, deer and goat movement on the Animal Reporting and Movement Service (ARAMS)

Where can I get  general advice  about animal health?

From GOV.UK

Read more about animal welfare on the The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) website.

Learn how to register as a livestock keeper on the The Animal and Plant Health Agency website.

From the council

The council enforces legislation on animal health and welfare and provides advice on:

  • health and welfare of livestock
  • identification registration and movement of livestock
  • transportation of livestock
  • disposal of fallen stock.

Request advice from an animal health officer

Last Updated: Monday, 01 October 2018