Sheep and goat keepers: register your holding and flock or herd

Find out how to register as a sheep and goat keeper with the Rural Payments Agency (RPA) and Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA).

You must register land where you keep sheep or goats with the Rural Payments Agency (RPA) within 1 month of starting to keep the animals on the land:

Telephone: 03000 200 301

The RPA will give your holding a unique 9-digit County Parish Holding (CPH) number, for example: (C)11 / (P)222 / (H)3333.

Find out more about getting a CPH.

Register multiple plots of land

Land that meets all of the following conditions can be included under the CPH of your main holding:

  • you own or permanently rent it
  • it’s within 10 miles of your main holding
  • it’s not used by other livestock keepers

You need a different CPH for any other land you use to keep sheep or goats. If the land has previously been used for agricultural purposes it may already have a CPH, but you should check with the RPA.

Get a temporary CPH if you don’t own the land

If you rent or temporarily use someone else’s land to graze your animals you can use the CPH number of whoever owns the land.

If the landowner doesn’t let you use their CPH number, request a temporary CPH number from the Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA).

Get a flock or herd mark

You must tell APHA if you’re keeping sheep or goats.

The APHA will give you a unique flock or herd mark, which is a 6-digit number used to identify your flock or herd that is linked to your main CPH.

Report a change in circumstances

If you add new land with a different CPH to your farm business you must tell APHA what the CPH is, and that you’ll be keeping sheep or goats on it. Don’t assume that a previous keeper has done so.

You must tell APHA if you stop keeping sheep or goats.

Contact the RPA or APHA for advice if you’re not sure whether you need to report a change in circumstances.

Published 1 June 2014
Last updated 3 November 2016 + show all updates
  1. Updated helpline telephone number.

  2. First published.