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You must tell the British Cattle Movement Service (BCMS) if you move cattle onto or from your holding.

You must tell them within 3 days of moving an animal on or off a holding. You must record the date in the animal’s passport, sign it, and pass the identification document - except the notice of registration - to the transporter if moved off a holding.

You must not move an animal that doesn’t have a valid passport.

You must not move any cattle from an area if it has only been moved there within the last 6 days. You must not move an animal to a slaughterhouse unless it’s within 48 hours of its slaughter.

You must inspect all animals before you move them, and any evidence of disease must be reported to your Divisional Veterinary Manager.

You must make sure the identification documents are given to you and you must record in the passport within 36 hours of the animal’s arrival on your holding:

  • the date of its arrival
  • the holding number
  • your name and address
  • your signature

You can only move an animal imported from outside Great Britain from its entry point to a holding if it has a passport and a movement document. You must record all information within 36 hours of arrival.

You must send an animal’s passport to the BCMS if you export any animal to a non-European Union country within 7 days of its export. Animals must not enter markets unless accompanied by their identification documents, a passport issued in another country or a movement document.


You must keep up-to-date herd registers for each holding and include the following information:

  • official eartag number
  • dam official eartag number
  • date of birth
  • sex
  • date of movements on and off holding
  • details of where the animal has moved to or from
  • keeper details of whom cattle were sent to, received from, breed, date of death

You must complete the register within 36 hours of a movement, within 7 days of a death, and within 7 days of a birth in a dairy herd or 30 days of the birth of any other calf.

You must keep the register for 10 years if you’re a cattle keeper or 3 years in any other case from the end of the calendar year when the last entry was made.

You must make sure that you comply with cattle tagging regulations, apply for passports and tell the BCMS of any births and deaths.