Guidance

Report cattle exported or moved out of Great Britain

How to comply with cattle identification regulations when exporting or moving cattle out of Great Britain

Cattle moving out or exported from Great Britain must be registered and tagged and meet certain criteria. You must also report this movement to the British Cattle Movement Service (BCMS) so they get the information within 3 days.

Requirements for all cattle exported or moved out of Great Britain

You are only allowed to export or move cattle out of Great Britain that:

  • were born, imported or moved into Great Britain on or after 1 August 1996
  • have a full, valid passport with complete movement history (CPP52 or CPP13)
  • have two approved ear tags, one in each ear, that show the same unique number
  • are not subject to a whole-herd or individual movement restriction

Animals must also meet certain health and welfare requirements.

Cattle born before 1 August 1996 are not allowed into the domestic food chain and cannot be exported.

Additional tagging requirements for cattle that are exported from or moved out of Great Britain to an EU Country or Northern Ireland from 1 January 2021

From 1 January 2021, all cattle exported from or moved out of Great Britain to an EU Country or Northern Ireland need to be identified with the ISO country code, which is ‘GB’ for the UK.

For full details please see the new UK-wide advice on ear tags for livestock exporters.

How to report live cattle exported or moved out of Great Britain

When exporting or moving live cattle out of Great Britain, you must update your holding register and report the off movement to BCMS. The information must arrive with BCMS within 3 days of the movement.

You must also send BCMS copies of these documents:

You’ll need to use your County Parish Holding (CPH) number on all documents you send to BCMS. If you have a holding in England or Wales that has been approved as an assembly centre, BCMS will have sent you bar code labels for your additional CPH number.

If you have a holding in Scotland, your CPH number will stay the same. Use this number and the corresponding bar code labels to report live cattle exported or moved out of Great Britain.

Published 6 May 2014
Last updated 23 February 2021 + show all updates
  1. Added section to explain that as a result of the UK exiting the EU, the tagging requirements for cattle that are exported from or moved out of GB to an EU Country or Northern Ireland have changed from 1 January.

  2. First published.