Register with the British Cattle Movement Service

Before you take responsibility for cattle, bison or buffalo as a keeper, you must register with the British Cattle Movement Service (BCMS).

The British Cattle Movement Service (BCMS):

  • maintains the Cattle Tracing System (CTS) database
  • issues cattle passports
  • processes information from keepers about cattle births, movements and deaths
  • answers enquiries from cattle keepers

If you are going to keep cattle, bison or buffalo, you must register with BCMS before you move any of these animals on to your holding, because there is a legal requirement that keepers must report movements on or off a holding to BCMS within 3 days of the movement.

Before you start

You must have a County Parish Holding (CPH) number and be registered correctly with the authority that issued it before you can register with BCMS.

You will also need to provide BCMS with the holding address so that they can contact you.

How to register with BCMS

You can complete the ‘New holding Registration Request Form’ and email this to or Contact BCMS and tell them that you are going to keep cattle, bison or buffalo. They will register your details and send you:

  • a letter of confirmation that your holding is registered on CTS
  • a letter with a reference number to use if you enrol with CTS Online and a password in order to use approved farm software using CTS Web Services
  • your bar code labels

You can choose whether to send and receive information to BCMS online or by phone or in paper form.


British Cattle Movement Service

Curwen Road
Derwent Howe
CA14 2DD

Normal BCMS helpline opening hours: Monday to Friday 8:30am to 5pm, closed weekends and bank holidays. All calls charged at local rate.

A Welsh version of this page is also available

Published 6 May 2014
Last updated 30 June 2020 + show all updates
  1. Added link to 'New holding Registration Request Form'

  2. First published.