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Guide to cross compliance in England: 2016

Rural Payments Agency
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SMR 6: Pig identification and registration

Identifying your animals and keeping accurate records helps movements of pigs to be traced. In the event of a disease outbreak it is important that the Rural Payments Agency (RPA) knows where animals have moved from and to.

What you must do

A. Register your holding details with RPA and the Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA)

You will need a County Parish Holding number (CPH), which identifies the land where the pigs will be kept. To apply for a CPH you need to contact the RPA helpline on 03000 200 301.

You must then contact APHA to let them know you will be keeping pigs.

Once pigs are on your holding for the first time you need to register that with APHA (even if it is just one pig or a pet pig). By law you should do this no later than one month of receiving pigs for the first time (or beforehand).

When your pig(s) is/are registered, a herd mark will be automatically created for you. You must use this to identify your pigs when they move off your holding. Herd marks for pigs are 1 or 2 letters followed by 4 digits, for example A1234 or AB1234.

You must notify APHA if any of your information changes or if you stop keeping pigs within one month.

B. Identify animals correctly before they leave your holding

You can identify your pig by an ear tag, tattoo or (double) slap marks – for more information go to GOV.UK.

You must not remove or deface an ear tag, tattoo or (double) slap marks unless authorised by the Secretary of State.

You must replace an identification mark if it has become illegible, been removed for welfare reasons or been lost. The replacement must be either identical to the original or cross-refer to the original in your records.

Pigs under 12 months old can move:

  • between holdings with a temporary paint mark
  • to slaughter with an ear tag, tattoo or double slap marks
  • to any type of market with an ear tag, tattoo or double slap marks
  • to a show or exhibition with an ear tag, tattoo or double slap marks - with an individual identification number.

Pigs over 12 months old:

  • can only move between holdings, to any type of market or to slaughter with an ear tag, tattoo or double slap marks bearing your Defra herdmark
  • must have your Defra herdmark applied before they move off your holding
  • involving, moves to a show or exhibition, for breeding purposes with the intention of returning the pig to the holding from which it was moved to an AI Centre or for intra-community trade or export must be with a tag, tattoo or slap marks, and must include a unique individual identifying number for each animal.

C. Pre-notifying movements before you move pigs and making sure they travel with a movement document/haulier summary

  • Moves must be pre-notified electronically through the eAML2 online system, for more information read Pig keepers: report and record movements to or from your holding. There’s a limited exception for moves to markets or collection centres – see below.
  • It’s important to plan your pig moves in advance.
  • Pig movements must always be accompanied by a printed movement document (Haulier Summary/Movement Document), generated from the eAML2 online system or provided by the bureau service.
  • If you are using the bureau service, you will need to allow time for your Haulier Summary/ Movement Document (HS/MD) to arrive through the post
  • The requisite numbers of the HS/MD must accompany the consignment as follows:
    • if the receiving keeper does not use eAML2 or have access to a computer, you will need to print a copy for him to retain and another for him to send to Meat and Livestock Commercial Services Limited (MLCSL) to confirm his receipt of the animals
    • if the receiving keeper confirms receipt of the pigs to the bureau via phone he will only require one copy, to keep for his records.
  • On the date of dispatch, you load the pigs and give the HS/MD(s) to the haulier. You should then confirm details via SMS text or online.

Pig movements to a market (or collection centre) that you require to move ‘on the day’ do not have to be pre-notified:

  • You can complete a hand written paper copy of the HS/MD (copies available from markets and MLCSL).
  • You can only move animals to market in this way if the market or collection centre will send the details electronically via the eAML2 system for both the move from the farm and confirmation of the arrival at the market, on the day the pigs arrive.
  • You must make sure the market can do this before moving the animals without pre- notification. They must receive and retain confirmation from the market when this is done, in the form of a completed HS/MD.

There are additional exceptions from the pre-notification requirement where:

  • you are moving any pigs to a veterinary practice for emergency treatment
  • you are moving any pigs to a show without knowing which holding the pigs will move to after the show. In this case you must notify the eAML2 system online or the eAML2 Bureau Service operated by MLCSL within 3 days of the move from the show.

If you are sending any pigs to a port for consignment outside Great Britain, you must either notify the eAML2 system online or send a copy of the haulier summary or movement documents to the eAML2 Bureau Service within 3 days of the pigs leaving the holding.

You must confirm receipt of any pigs moved onto your holding within 3 days of their arrival by one of the following methods:

  • reporting the completion of the move on the eAML2 movement system
  • sending a copy of the HS/MD to the eAML2 bureau (at the address on the form)
  • providing the information on the HS/MD to them over the phone or by fax.

The keeper receiving the pigs must keep the HS/MD for at least 6 months, unless they have recorded the movement on the BPEX pig movement system within 3 days of the pigs’ arrival.

D. Completing and maintaining on-farm records

You must keep a holding movement record in the following simple format:

The Pigs (Records, Identification and Movement) Order 2011        
Name and address of the person keeping the record        
Date of movement The identification number (1), or temporary mark Number of pigs Holding from which moved Holding to which moved
01/10/2014 B1234 5 Holding name; full address; CPH Recipient name; new holding name; full address; CPH

(1) In the case of a movement to shows, Artificial Insemination (AI) centres or for export, the record must include each pig’s unique individual identification number. In all cases:

  • You must record each movement of a pig on or off the holding in this document within 36 hours of the movement.
  • Once a year, you need to record the maximum number of pigs normally on the holding and the actual number of pigs on the holding on that date.
  • You need to keep this record for 3 years after you stop keeping pigs.
  • Your records must be available on request for inspection by RPA / APHA / local authorities.
  • They may make an on-farm visit or may ask that your records are sent in for inspection.
  • This record can be kept in hard copy or electronic form. If you keep your records in electronic form, you must be able to provide a hard copy of your record on request.
  • You can view a chronological list of the pdfs of each movement on the eAML2 system. These can act as your holding movement record (as they contain the same information described in the table above) but you must make them available to an inspector on request.
  • You are responsible for the accuracy of the holding movement records in whatever format they’re kept.

More information

All keepers should read the latest guidance on GOV.UK by searching for ‘pig keepers’.

There is also more information at eAML2 website:

To get a CPH number, call the RPA on 03000 200 301.  


Rural Payments Agency: 03000 200 301
RPA Livestock ID Helpline: 0345 050 9876
Animal and Plant Health Agency: 03000 200 301
eAML2 movement reporting service helpline: 0844 335 8400