Before acquiring any farmed species, even if your intention is to keep them as pets, you need to register the premise or land where the animals will be kept with Rural Payments Agency (RPA) - 08456 037777.
You will be allocated with a County Parish Holding Number (CPH) which is a unique nine digit number essential for the purpose of traceability of animal movements and animal identification.
As soon as you bring the animals on your premise you need to register them with Animal Health Agency and Veterinary Laboratory Agency (AHVLA) - 01785 231900. You will be asked for your CPH and once the registration is completed you will be given a herdmark - a unique number used for identification of bovines from your herd.
You will also need to inform the British Cattle Movement Service (BCMS) of your intention to keep cattle and they will register your details on the Cattle Tracing System (CTS).
All cattle born after 1 January 1998 must have a Defra approved eartag in each ear (double tagging), each showing the same unique number. Tags must be fitted at the same time, within 20 days of birth, with the exception of dairy animals, which must have at least one of the tags fitted within 36 hours of birth.
All cattle must be tagged before they leave the holding of birth. Since 1 January 2000, ear tags must have a specific numeric format. They contain the crown logo, country code, herdmark, individual animal number and check digit.
Remember to replace lost or illegible tags as soon as possible, but no later than 28 days after you notice the loss or illegibility.
Cattle born in or imported into Great Britain since 1 July 1996 must have a cattle passport. This forms the base of all identification and movement records, and must remain with them throughout their lives. Passports are issued by the British Cattle Movement Service (BCMS) and all applications must be made within 7 days of tagging. For more detailed rules contact Staffordshire County Council’s Animal Health Team.
Every movement of cattle on or off your premise should be reported to the BCMS within 3 days of the movement taking place; you can do it online, by post or over the phone.
Each movement of cattle onto the premise triggers a movement standstill which means that no livestock kept at that premise can be moved for the minimum period of full 6 days. There are exemptions from that rule (please contact us for further information)
Please be aware that your cattle may be required to undergo a pre-movement Tb test before moving off the premise – contact your local AHVLA for more information.
For more information on cattle regulations surrounding keeping cattle and best practice advice please read the Cattle Keeper's Handbook as published on Rural Payments Agency website:
Cattle Keeper's Handbook