Guidance

Register land you use to keep livestock

How to get a county parish holding (CPH) number, add land to your CPH or register your temporary use of land to keep livestock.

You must have a CPH number if you keep livestock (kept as part of a business or as pets). Livestock includes:

  • bovine animals (cattle, bison and buffalo)
  • pigs
  • goats
  • sheep
  • deer
  • poultry (if you have 50 or more birds)

This guidance is for land in England. Contact Northern Ireland, Scotland, Wales, if you use land in these countries.

Holding: meaning and the area it can cover

Livestock holdings describe the land and buildings that people use for keeping livestock, including livestock kept as pets. Each holding has a unique CPH number. A livestock business may have more than one holding and CPH number.

A single livestock holding can cover the land and buildings within 10 miles of its main livestock handling area, for example:

  • a farmyard
  • your home (if you keep livestock as pets)

Basic Payment Scheme (BPS) use of ‘holding’

The word ‘holding’ has a different meaning in BPS. Under BPS rules, a holding is all the land and buildings you use to keep livestock, which could include more than one CPH.

Register to record and report

You must have a CPH number to comply with the rules on recording and reporting livestock movements. Government uses these numbers to track the location and movement of livestock to prevent and control disease.

A permanent CPH number covers land you’ll use for more than a year. A temporary CPH number (tCPH) covers the use of land up to a year. If the land you plan to use for keeping livestock doesn’t have one of these numbers, you must register it.

Movements can include:

  • taking livestock to sell at market
  • transporting livestock to and from a show
  • moving livestock to and from a different farm
  • bringing livestock into your home to keep as pets

It’s an offence if you don’t comply with the rules on recording and reporting livestock movements.

Get a permanent CPH number

If the land you use doesn’t have a CPH number, you must get one from the Rural Payments Agency (RPA) before moving livestock onto the land.

You’ll be breaking the law if this is not done within 30 days of first moving livestock onto the land.

Contact the RPA using the Defra Rural Services Helpline on 03000 200 301. Find out about call charges.

Information you’ll need

Tell the RPA:

  • your correspondence address and postcode
  • if you own or rent the land - if you rent it, you’ll need to say if you’ll have use of it for more than a year
  • your contact details
  • business name
  • business activities
  • single business identifier (SBI) - if you’ve got one
  • the OS map reference for your main livestock handling area - if this is different from your correspondence address

Update your permanent CPH details

Tell RPA if there are any changes to the information you gave when you registered your holding. This includes when you:

  • stop keeping a particular species at that location
  • transfer the ownership of part or all of your holding
  • take over another holding
  • add land to your holding

You must tell RPA about these changes within 30 days of them taking place or you’ll be breaking the law.

Contact the RPA using the Defra Rural Services Helpline on 03000 200 301. Find out about call charges.

Add land to your permanent CPH

You can do this if:

  • you own the land, or have use of it for more than one year
  • it’s within 10 miles of your main livestock handling area

Contact the RPA using the Defra Rural Services Helpline on 03000 200 301. Find out about call charges.

Use land or buildings outside your permanent CPH

If you plan to use additional land or buildings, you must make sure they have a CPH number.

Where your livestock will mix with someone else’s

You may plan to move your livestock off your CPH to land or buildings where they’ll mix with livestock kept by someone else. If so, you’ll need to record and report the move to the CPH that covers that field or building.

The holder of the CPH you moved your livestock to must:

  • report the movement of livestock onto their CPH
  • record the movement in their holding register
  • comply with the rules on the movement of livestock known as ‘standstill restrictions’
  • keep the passports of cattle or movement documents for other species reported on their CPH

Where your livestock won’t mix

If your livestock won’t mix with other livestock in the land or buildings you plan to use, you must do one of the following before you move them:

Standstill restrictions

If livestock (cattle, sheep, goats, pigs) arrive on your land from a different CPH, you must not move:

  • sheep, goats or cattle off your holding for 6 days
  • pigs off your holding for 20 days if a pig moves onto your land
  • pigs off your holding for 6 days if cattle, sheep or goats move onto your land

You can move livestock off your land during the ‘standstill’ time if you’re moving them direct to slaughter. This includes to a red (slaughter only) livestock market.

Temporary land associations (TLAs) in England

A temporary land association (TLA) associates your permanent CPH with land or a building that’s within 10 miles of that CPH’s main livestock handling area.

The land or building will be treated as part of the permanent CPH it’s associated to. This means that:

  • you don’t need to record or report livestock movements between that land and the rest of your CPH
  • you must record and report any livestock movements to that land from a different CPH against your permanent CPH
  • standstill restrictions won’t apply when moving livestock between that land and the rest of your CPH
  • standstill restrictions will apply when you move livestock to a different CPH, on all the land it covers, including any land associated to it with a TLA
  • all land covered by a CPH, including any associated to it by a TLA, will be treated as part of that CPH for disease testing and restrictions

A TLA lasts up to 1 year but you can renew it before it ends.

Check you can apply for a TLA

You can apply for one or more TLAs between your permanent CPH and land or buildings you use to keep livestock if all the following apply:

  • you’re a registered livestock keeper
  • any part of the land or building you want to associate with your permanent CPH is within 10 miles of that permanent CPH’s main livestock handling area
  • your livestock won’t mix with livestock kept by someone else on that land or in buildings
  • the land or buildings are in England or Wales
  • for permanent CPHs that are registered for keeping bovine animals, any land or building you associate to it with a TLA must be in the same bovine TB risk area as that CPH

Temporary county parish holding (tCPH) numbers

For livestock movements, a tCPH is treated as a separate CPH to any other CPH you hold. This means that you must:

  • keep a separate holding register for your tCPH
  • keep livestock reported as being on your tCPH separate from those reported as being on any other CPH
  • record and report livestock movements between your tCPH and any other CPH
  • follow standstill restrictions when you move livestock between your tCPH and any other holding
  • keep hold of any identification documents (including cattle passports) for livestock you move to your tCPH, as you are still their keeper

A tCPH will share a flock or herd mark with your permanent CPH. This means that you:

  • don’t need separate ID tags for animals kept on a tCPH
  • must use your permanent CPH number when you order replacement tags or tags for newborn animals

A tCPH lasts up to 1 year but you can renew it before it ends.

Check you can apply for a tCPH number

You can apply for a tCPH number if all the following apply:

  • you’re a registered livestock keeper
  • you have an English or Welsh permanent CPH number
  • the land and buildings are in England or Wales
  • the land and buildings are all rented from the same person
  • the land and buildings are not in more than one permanent CPH
  • all the land and buildings are within 10 miles of the place you’ll gather animals on the temporary holding

Apply for a TLA or tCPH

You need to download and complete an application form.

For each piece of land you want to include in your application, you must give one of the following:

  • a 12 character ordnance survey (OS) grid reference
  • a parcel identification number (parcel ID)

You must give an OS grid reference for each building you want to include.

APHA aims to process applications within 10 working days. It may take longer if:

  • your application is inaccurate
  • the form is incomplete
  • APHA needs to carry out a bovine TB veterinary risk assessment

Update your TLA or tCPH details

You must tell APHA when:

  • there are any changes to the information you gave in your application
  • you stop using any of the land or buildings to keep livestock

Contact APHA using the Defra Rural Services Helpline on 03000 200 301. Find out about call charges.

Bovine TB testing and tCPHs

Usually, you must follow the routine bovine TB testing interval for the bovine TB risk area that applies to your tCPH. The exception is when your tCPH is in the low risk area and your permanent CPH is in the high risk or edge area. Then you must follow the testing interval for the permanent CPH.

Different testing intervals can apply if your tCPH is in the high risk area and your permanent is in the low risk area. In these cases, APHA may ask you to carry out bovine TB testing on your permanent CPH more often than once every 4 years. This will depend on the number and frequency of livestock movements between your permanent CPH and your tCPH.

Your tCPH will be tested at the same time as your permanent CPH wherever possible.

bovine TB breakdown

If you have a breakdown, you’ll have movement restrictions on all your CPHs and tCPHs that are registered for bovine animals.

The restrictions will only be lifted following testing or a veterinary risk assessment.

Published 19 October 2017
Last updated 17 July 2018 + show all updates
  1. Get a permanent CPH number section amended.
  2. First published.