Keeping sheep, goats, pigs and deer

Find out how to register your holding, record and report animal movements, and about any restrictions after animals arrive on your holding.

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Guidance has been separated. Read about: keeping sheep and goats, keeping pigs or keeping deer

Who’s responsible

You do not have to own animals to be a keeper. You’re a sheep, goat, pig or deer keeper if you have responsibility for the day-to-day care and control of these animals. This includes a single animal kept temporarily or as a pet.

You must follow this guidance as part of your cross compliance requirements. The Rural Payments Agency (RPA) may reduce your Single Payment Scheme (SPS) or Basic Payment Scheme (BPS) subsidy if you do not.

The RPA inspects 3% of holdings each year.

There are also movement restrictions that apply when sheep, goats or pigs arrive on your holding. Find out about standstill restrictions after:

Wales and Scotland

Find out how to register sheep, goats and pigs in Wales,

Find out how to register sheep, goats and pigs in Scotland.

Sheep and goat keepers

Includes guidance for all keepers including farmers, people who keep sheep and goats as pets, markets, showgrounds, collection and assembly centres and slaughterhouses.

Pig keepers

Includes guidance for owners of pet pigs or ‘micropigs’.

Deer keepers

Includes guidance for deer keepers on identifying deer and reporting their movement.

Ear tags and slapmarks: approved suppliers, replacements and feedback

Central point recording centres for sheep

Central point recording centres (CPRCs) are holdings (mostly markets) that scan the electronic tags of inbound sheep. The sending keepers use this information to update their holding registers.

Find a list of approved CPRCs and apply to be a CPRC.

General licences for moving sheep, goats, pigs and deer

When you move sheep, goats, pigs or deer, you’re moving them under these general licences.

You don’t need to apply for these licences and as long as you follow the guidance on moving animals in this collection, you’ll be meeting their conditions.

Updates to this page

Published 31 December 2014
Last updated 15 June 2023 + show all updates
  1. Sheep and goat keepers description and links updated. Link to 'Register livestock to get a flock or herd mark' added to information for pig and deer keepers.

  2. First published.