Keeping farmed animals – 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).

Enrol to use CTS Online

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 (PDF, 336KB, 3 pages) 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:

You can also register for the Government Gateway and then enrol for CTS Online (PDF, 668KB, 5 pages) all in one go.

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 (PDF, 450KB, 4 pages) .

Help with CTS Online

You can download help guides on:

There is also help information on the right-hand side of each screen on CTS Online.

If you still have a problem, you can contact BCMS, with the following information to hand:

  • your County Parish Holding (CPH) number
  • the web page you were using when the problem happened
  • your internet service provider (ISP) and browser type
  • the date and time the problem happened

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 SEC.bcms@rpa.gsi.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 (Welsh language line: 0345 011 1213).

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.