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Overview

You need to register with the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (DARD) to keep a sheep holding in Northern Ireland.

To register your sheep holding, you must notify the relevant body of:

  • the address of the holding where you intend to keep your animals
  • your name and address
  • details of your flocks

You will then be issued with a flockmark.

You must register a holding within 1 month of becoming a keeper or getting the holding. If you have more than 1 holding, you must register each separately.

You must notify the relevant body as soon as possible if, at any time, you make any changes to existing holdings.

Conditions

When moving your animals onto the holding, you must comply with all relevant animal movement notifications.

You must keep and maintain a holding register to record all details of births, movements - both on and off the holding - and deaths. You must also keep information on tags and replacement tags for all your sheep. The holding register must specify:

  • the address of the holding
  • the flock numbers
  • the species held
  • type of production (eg milk, meat, wool, dairy or breeding stock)
  • the address of the keeper - if different from holding

You must record any movements within 36 hours from the time they were moved.

You are required to keep 1 holding register for each individual holding you have.

The holding register must be in the format specified by the relevant body, and may be kept in either electronic or paper form. You must keep these records for 3 years from the date when the last animal on the holding is moved off it or dies.

You must notify the relevant body of any changes to your holding within 1 month of the date of changes.

You must also comply with any sheep identification requirements.