Guidance

Pig keepers: register your holding and animals

What you need to do before you start keeping pigs, including registering with the Rural Payments Agency and Animal and Plant Health Agency.

Before you start keeping pigs on a piece of land, you must register the land you’ll use.

Register your animals

You must tell the Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA) that you’re keeping pigs, within 30 days of pigs arriving on your land.

APHA will give you a herd mark that you’ll have to use to identify pigs from your holding. Herd marks are 1 or 2 letters followed by 4 digits, eg A1234 or XY9876.

Register as an intensive pig farmer

You must contact the Environment Agency to apply for an intensive pig farming permit if your holding has capacity for more than any of the following:

  • 750 sows
  • 2,000 production pigs, of 30 kilograms or more

This does not apply to pigs that are kept or reared outdoors.

Report any change in circumstances

You must tell APHA if you add new land to your farm business that has a different CPH number.

You must tell APHA what the CPH number of your new land is, and that you’ll be keeping pigs on that CPH. Don’t assume that a previous keeper has done so.

You must also tell APHA if you stop keeping pigs.

Contact APHA or the RPA for advice if you’re not sure whether you need to report a change in circumstances.

Take an annual inventory

Once a year you must record the:

  • number of pigs on the holding on that day
  • total number of pigs normally on the holding

You can keep your records on paper or on a computer. You must keep them for 3 years after you stop keeping pigs and make them available during an inspection, or to inspectors by post on request.

Moving your pigs

If you’re moving pigs, you must:

Published 1 January 2012