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.

Who’s responsible

You don’t 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 don’t.

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 abattoirs and exhibition and show grounds.

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 that electronically report the arrival of sheep as a service to keepers.

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

General licences for moving sheep, goats and pigs

When you move sheep, goats or pigs, 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.

Legislation and data protection

Guidance for sheep and goat keepers is based on EC Council Regulation 21/2004.

The requirements are enforced through The Sheep and Goats (Records, Identification and Movement) (England) Order 2009 as amended by the The Sheep and Goats (Records, Identification and Movement) (England) (Amendment) Order 2014. .

The requirements for pig keepers are enforced through The Pigs (Records, Identification and Movement) Order 2011

The Department for Environment Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) has published this statement about how it will use any information you provide as part of the annual inventory of your holding.

Published 31 December 2014