Guidance

Send cattle reporting information online or by phone

You can send the British Cattle Movement Service updates via CTS Online, approved farm software and a self-service phone line.

To report the births, movements and deaths of cattle, bison or buffalo electronically, you can use:

  • Cattle Tracing System (CTS) Online
  • CTS Web Services using approved farm software
  • the CTS self-service telephone line

CTS Online

CTS Online is a British Cattle Movement Service (BCMS) website that is free to use and lets you:

  • report births, movements and deaths and get receipts for your transactions
  • access a list of all the cattle on your holding, see their details and look at the history of your herd
  • view your holding’s transactions for the last 6 months
  • see if there are any problems with your transactions and send BCMS information to resolve them
  • order bar code labels and forms

CTS Online is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. It allows you to get your cattle information to BCMS quickly, upload movements in batches and send information via a ‘contact BCMS’ facility (eg if you make a mistake in reporting). It also validates some of the information you send, which leads to fewer mistakes.

You can download a slideshow (MS Powerpoint Presentation, 13.4MB) demonstration that lets you navigate around as you would on the live site (press the ‘escape’ key to exit).

Before you first use the system, contact BCMS to get a CTS Online reference number. You’ll also need to register with the Government Gateway if you haven’t already registered to access other government services online.

You’ll use your Government Gateway user ID and password to access CTS Online.

Once you’re registered with the Government Gateway, there are two ways to enrol to CTS Online for the first time: *enrol for CTS Online via the Government Gateway portal *enrol directly from the CTS Online homepage

Once you’ve enrolled, each time you use CTS Online you can choose whether to log in via the Government Gateway or directly through the CTS Online homepage.

Help with CTS Online

We have videos on our YouTube account that help with the following:

Registering for the Government Gateway and Enrolling CTS Online as a Service
If you have never used the Government Gateway before and would like to register for it and enrol CTS Online as a service, watch this video on how to do this. This video demonstrates how to do this via the Government Gateway website.

Enrolling CTS Online as a Service when you have a Government Gateway Account
You already have a Government Gateway account and would like to enrol CTS Online as a service. This video demonstrates how to do this via the Government Gateway website.

Enrolling on CTS Online from Government Gateway homepage
You already have a Government Gateway account and would like to enrol CTS Online. This video demonstrates how to do this at the CTS Online website.

Registering for the Government Gateway and Enrolling CTS Online as a Service
You do not have a Government Gateway account and would like to create one and enrol CTS Online as a service. This video demonstrates how to do this at the CTS Online website.

Logging into CTS Online from CTSO homepage
This video demonstrates how to log in to CTS Online at www.bcms.gov.uk.

Logging into CTS Online from Government Gateway homepage This video demonstrates how to log into CTS Online at www.gateway.gov.uk

Request your Government Gateway User ID

Request a Government Gateway password reset

Change your password to something more manageable

To see the Welsh subtitles for these videos watch them on our YouTube channel. Don’t forget, there is also help information on the right-hand side of each screen on CTS Online.

CTS Web Services

CTS Web Services is a BCMS system that allows compatible farm software packages to link straight through to the Cattle Tracing System via an internet connection. It allows you to report your cattle births, movements and deaths securely to BCMS through your farm software.

As with CTS Online, some of the information is validated by the system, helping to eliminate mistakes.

You can also request receipts for your transactions. To find out if your transactions have been successful in reaching CTS, you can enter your receipt number back into CTS Web Services. This will show if any mistakes have been made, so you can enter your information again.

Other features include:

  • a ‘cattle on holding’ cross-check option, which allows you to automatically compare your holding register with the information CTS holds, to ensure there are no discrepancies
  • a ‘get animal details’ option, which allows keepers and abattoirs to view full movement histories for up to 50 individual animals

To start using CTS Web services using approved farm software or to change your CTS Web Services password for your farm software, contact BCMS.

If you want to produce a product which uses CTS Web Service and you’d like more information, email bcmssec@rpa.gov.uk.

CTS self-service phone line

The CTS self-service line (SSL) is an automated phone line for cattle keepers who don’t have access to a computer.

The number is 0345 011 1212 (0345 011 1213 if you are a cattle keeper in Wales).

The line is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

When you register with BCMS, your CPH number and the telephone numbers(s) you’ll be calling from will be registered on the Cattle Tracing System. To change the number or add other numbers to call from, contact BCMS.

If your telephone number is withheld, the system won’t recognise it unless you dial 1470 before the SSL number. If you have trouble dialling in from a mobile, your mobile provider should be able to tell you what settings to change so that the system can detect your number.

How to use the SSL

You can use the SSL for reporting:

  • births (press 1)
  • movements on (press 2)
  • movements off (press 3)
  • deaths of registered animals (press 4)
  • deaths of unregistered calves (press 5)

You don’t need to wait for the menu to finish before pressing the option you need.

The most effective way to use the SSL is by using the telephone keypad to enter information.

There’s a limit of 50 transactions in one call. If you need to report more than this, hang up and re-dial.

At the end of each call you’ll be given a reference number, which you should note in case of queries. The information you have given will appear straight away on CTS Online.

Contact BCMS

British Cattle Movement Service

Curwen Road
Derwent Howe
Workington
Cumbria
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 6 June 2018 + show all updates
  1. Updated the CTSO help section and added links to our YouTube channel
  2. Updated to registration and help for CTS Online.
  3. First published.