Policy paper

Livestock movements – simpler rules from 2016

Updated 25 August 2016

We are making changes which will simplify the rules on reporting livestock movements. Some farmers will be able to simplify how their farms are registered. This may reduce the number of livestock movement reports they need to submit.

The following information summarises the changes that are happening, so that farmers can start planning how they might benefit from them.

This information only covers arrangements in England.

Who’s affected

You may be affected by the changes if you keep cattle, sheep, goats, or pigs.

You must follow the new process for registering temporary use of land if you take on any new land on a temporary basis. Other changes are coming into effect over the next year.

New 10-mile rule

Under the new 10-mile rule you will be able to apply to register, under the same CPH (County Parish Holding) number, all the land that you use within a 10 mile radius. This will cover land that you use permanently or on a temporary basis. The 10-mile radius is measured from the ‘place of business’ point of the CPH (usually the animal gathering point or correspondence address).

When you move livestock between pieces of land included in the same CPH, you will not need to record or report those moves, and they will not trigger the standstill rules (the period during which further animal movements are not allowed off a landholding). All land covered by a single CPH, whether permanently or temporarily, will be treated as part of that CPH for disease testing and restriction purposes.

The changes to the 10-mile rule could significantly reduce the amount of work involved in movement reporting and recording.

Merging your CPHs

If you currently hold more than one CPH and would like to merge them:

  • we will write to you at some point between summer 2016 and summer 2017 (we’re doing this on a phased basis throughout this period)
  • our letter will give you more details on how to apply to merge them
  • you should not do anything until you have received your letter from us (other than plan ahead)
  • if you do not want to merge land into one holding you will not need to do anything

If you merge your CPHs under the 10 mile rule, then once the changes have been made:

  • you will still need to record and report livestock movements between different CPHs
  • these movements will trigger the standstill rules on all the land included in the CPH to which your animals have moved
  • you will no longer be able to use ID tags for the holdings that are closed as a result of the merger
  • you must update your holding registers: you may wish to start a new/replacement holding register for the CPH that you retain
  • you can get a new holding register on request if you are a sheep, goat or cattle keeper

Planning your ID tag orders

If you merge your permanent CPHs, you will no longer be able to use ID tags for the holdings that are closed. You should therefore order the minimum tags necessary for this year’s tagging, to avoid wastage.

Land you use permanently

You will continue to register land that you use on a permanent basis (that is, land that is at your disposal for more than a year) under a permanent CPH number allocated by the Rural Payments Agency (RPA).

Land you use only temporarily

If you use land on a temporary basis (that is, for one year or less) to keep livestock, you have the following options:

  • if your livestock will be mixing with livestock kept by the person you are renting the land from, you must use their CPH when reporting moves to or from that land: standstill is triggered on the whole holding when any animals move onto that CPH, and the CPH holder must keep their holding register updated
  • if you have sole occupancy of the land (that is, your livestock will not be mixing with livestock kept by someone else) you may apply for a Temporary Land Association (TLA) or Temporary CPH (tCPH) number

Temporary Land Associations (TLA)

If additional land that you use on a temporary basis is within ten miles, you will be able to apply to APHA to associate that land to it via a TLA.

TLAs will last up to a year (with an option to renew), during which time the land covered would be treated as part of your permanent CPH for livestock recording and reporting purposes and disease controls. This means that:

  • movements to that land from other land covered by your permanent CPH would not need to be recorded or reported and would not trigger standstill
  • movements to that land from a different CPH would need to be recorded and reported against your permanent CPH
  • moves reported to a CPH will trigger standstill on all of the land it covers including any land temporarily associated with it
  • all land covered by a single CPH, whether permanently or temporarily, will be treated as part of that CPH from a disease testing and restriction perspective

If a CPH is registered for keeping bovine animals (cattle, buffalo or bison), a TLA will only be permitted where the land is in the same bovine TB risk area as that of the CPH to which it is to be associated.

Temporary CPHs (tCPHs)

You can apply for a tCPH to cover one or more pieces of land intended to be used for 12 months or less, and where you need an additional CPH number for livestock movement reporting purposes.

You can get a tCPH regardless of the distance between it and any other CPHs that you hold, so long as livestock on the different holdings don’t mix.

They will last up to a year (with an option to renew) during which time the same statutory livestock movement recording, reporting and standstill requirements would apply as to a permanent holding.

In summary:

  • a separate holding register has to be kept for a tCPH
  • all livestock movements on and off land covered by a tCPH number, including movements between a tCPH and any other CPHs you hold, must be recorded and reported
  • all livestock movements on or off a tCPH would trigger standstill on the receiving holding, including movements to/from your permanent CPH(s)
  • livestock on a tCPH must be kept separate from those of any other keeper and from any other CPH(s) that you hold

For most disease control purposes – testing, or movement restrictions – the land included in a tCPH will be treated (subject to APHA veterinary risk assessment) as part of that tCPH and not as part of your permanent holding or that of the person you are renting the land from.

When to apply for a TLA or tCPH

If you have an existing tCPH or CTS link then you can continue to use it for now. We will write to you between July 2016 and summer 2017 to tell you when it is going to be removed, and we will then tell you what your options are, and how to apply.

New temporary use of land to keep livestock

If you take on new land on a temporary basis for livestock you need to apply to APHA to register it.

TB Controls

Current TB pre-movement and post-movement testing rules will apply to movements of cattle between permanent CPHs and tCPHs.

Existing CPHs can already straddle boundaries between TB risk areas: APHA applies the more stringent TB surveillance and control regime to the whole holding.

You can get a tCPH if the rented land is in a different risk area to that of your permanent CPH (movements between different CPHs are recorded and reported). However, you can only get a TLA if the land you are renting is in the same bovine TB risk area as that of your permanent CPH.

A TLA may be used to associate land in the Low Risk Area to a permanent CPH in the Low Risk Area even if animals on that CPH are tested annually (for example herds subject to radial TB testing, post-TB breakdown testing, or producer retailers of unpasteurised milk etc).

There will be no fundamental changes in the way TB breakdowns involving rented land are managed by APHA. All bovine animals on your CPH will be tested at the same time. In the event of a TB breakdown, restrictions will apply to them all (including those on the temporarily associated land). We will treat a breakdown in the same way whether or not you have a TLA. All cattle on the same CPH, whether on land covered by a TLA or on your permanent land, will be restricted. They are considered as one group.

There will also be no fundamental changes in the way TB breakdowns involving tCPHs are managed by APHA. That is, APHA will not necessarily assume that bovine animals kept on tCPHs are separate groups from the animals on your permanent CPH.

Cattle Tracing System Links (CTS links) have allowed keepers to link holdings if they frequently move cattle between them. Currently, movements between holdings linked on CTS do not have to be reported.

All CTS links will be withdrawn by summer 2017 under the new system.

If you have a CTS link you do not need to do anything now. BCMS will contact you before your link is due to expire to explain your options.

Sole Occupancy Authorities

Sole Occupancy Authorities (SOAs) are currently a way of grouping together holdings that are under the management and control of the same livestock keeper. They allow that keeper to move his animals between those holdings without observing standstill.

All SOAs will be withdrawn. If you have a SOA you do not need to do anything now. We will write to you at some point between summer 2016 and summer 2017 before your SOA is withdrawn.

Sheep and goat movement reporting exemptions

Batch reporting exemption

We’ll be removing the batch reporting exemption on 1 January 2018.

This currently allows sheep and goat moves between different holdings within the same business (provided the keepership does not change) to be reported at a batch rather than an individual level.

Once this exemption has been removed, all sheep movements between different CPHs must be reported at an individual animal rather than a batch level – this means that their individual tag numbers will need to be included in the movement report (except for movements of batch-tagged slaughter animals – who are identified with just their flock mark).

Adjacent moves reporting exemption

We’ll be removing the adjacent moves reporting exemption on 1 January 2018.

This currently allows keepers not to report frequent sheep or goat movements to contiguous (adjacent) land on a different holding.

Once this exemption has been removed, all livestock movements between different CPHs must be reported and recorded, whether or not the land is contiguous (adjacent).

Farms near or across the Welsh or Scottish borders

We are considering whether the 10 mile rule can apply to farm businesses which cross the England/Wales border. We will announce our conclusions later.

The Welsh Government consulted on similar changes to those we are making in England, and will announce their conclusions later.

A 10 mile rule will not operate across the England/Scotland border.

TLAs

APHA will only allocate TLAs in England against English permanent CPHs (that is, those with English county numbers).

Only land in England may be temporarily associated (via a TLA) to an English CPH (unless the land straddles the Welsh border in which case it may be associated with an English CPH at the discretion of Defra and the Welsh Government).

You can’t associate land in England (via a TLA) with a Scottish CPH, nor can you associate land in Scotland (via a TLA) with an English CPH.

tCPHs

APHA will only allocate tCPHs for land in England. If land straddles the Welsh border, it may be included in an English tCPH at the discretion of Defra and the Welsh Government.

You must hold an English or Welsh permanent CPH (that is, one with an English or Welsh county number) to serve as ‘parent CPH’ for the tCPH.

All tCPHs allocated by APHA will have English county numbers.

You can’t include land in Scotland in an English tCPH, nor can you link an English tCPH to a Scottish CPH.

Timetable

The changes will be phased in over 12 months.

We wrote to all registered livestock keepers in May 2016 to outline the changes.

We started rolling out these changes in July 2016, and expect that the changes will be completed by Summer to Autumn 2017. The sheep and goat movement reporting exemptions will then end on 1 January 2018.

If you have a CTS link, SOA, tCPH allocated before August 2016, or more than one CPH within 10 miles, we will send you a further letter telling you what the changes mean, the options available to you and any action that you may need to take.

Industry bodies may issue their own information and may arrange regional meetings to help livestock keepers understand the changes.

Benefits and background

These changes will simplify livestock movement rules by removing a number of complex exemptions and by making the rules the same for all species. For many keepers, the changes to the 10-mile rule will reduce the work associated with movement reporting and standstills. These are the period during which further animal movements are not allowed off a landholding after animals have moved onto it.

These changes will also give a better understanding of where livestock are and therefore help disease prevention and outbreak control measures. This will benefit the livestock industry as a whole.

The changes follow the report of the Farming Regulation Task Force, chaired by Richard Macdonald (former Director General at the National Farmers Union) on ways of reducing regulatory burdens on farmers.

We announced in January 2014 that we would be making these changes, to reduce the burden on livestock keepers from movement reporting.

Review of standstill regime

In line with the conclusions of the Farming Regulation Task Force, we will review the standstill regime in 2018, once the changes in the CPH system have bedded in. That will allow us to see what the changes have meant for standstills.