Register a holding so that you can keep cattle

To keep cattle, bison or buffalo at a given place, you must register for a County Parish Holding number.

If you intend to keep cattle, bison or buffalo, you must ensure that the place where you are going to keep them is registered as an agricultural holding. When you register a holding for the first time, you get a County Parish Holding (CPH) number for that land and/or premises.

If you keep animals on someone else’s land, you may still need to get your own CPH number. Contact the issuing organisation in the part of Great Britain (England, Wales or Scotland) in which your holding is located for advice (details below).

What is a holding?

A holding is a place where livestock, including cattle , are kept or handled in pursuit of an agricultural activity. It may be a farm, or other premises such as a market, lairage, abattoir or showground.

Some keepers may have more than 1 holding and some holdings may be used by more than one keeper. A holding is not the same as a business.

The format of the CPH number

The CPH is a 9-digit number (eg 12/345/6789). The first 2 digits relate to the county, the next 3 relate to the parish and the last 4 digits identify the holding.

The application procedure

To apply for a CPH number, telephone the issuing organisation for the relevant part of Great Britain (England, Wales or Scotland) in which your holding is located (details below).

When you call, you should have the following information to hand:

  • organisation name
  • land location (land parcel reference number(s), postcode or OS grid reference(s))
  • form of tenure (eg owner, owner/occupier, tenant 365 days or more, tenant 364 days or less)
  • activities (eg cattle keeper)
  • contact details

The issuing organisation will ask about other characteristics of your holding and activities to ensure it allocates the CPH number correctly.

Your CPH number will arrive by post.

How to apply In England

To get a CPH number, call the Rural Payments Agency (RPA) on 03000 200 301 and select the option for registering your details.

How to apply In Scotland

Contact your local Scottish Government Rural Payment and Inspection Division (SGRPID) Office

How to apply in Wales

Contact the Welsh Government Customer Contact Centre on 0300 062 5004

Get a CPH number urgently

If your holding is in England or Wales and you need the number urgently, telephone the issuing organisation. It may be able to provide the number over the telephone before sending you the letter.

Apply for an additional CPH

If your cattle business is officially TB free and has 2 or more separately managed herds, you may want to consider applying for one or more additional CPHs.

This means every herd would be kept on its own CPH. This could help to reduce the impact of any future TB outbreak in one of your herds.

To apply for one or more additional CPHs, fill in the form ‘Application for an additional CPH for an officially TB free cattle business’.

Resolve issues with CPH numbers

You should take action if you think the CPH numbers you have for your holding may be incorrect (eg if your holding has more than 1 number). Contact the issuing authority in the relevant part of Great Britain (England, Wales or Scotland) in which your holding is located, using the details above.

Welsh language version of this page

Published 6 May 2014