Sheep and Goats
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.
Once you have a CPH number, you need to register for keeping sheep / goats by contacting the Animal Health and Veterinary Laboratory Agency (AHVLA - 01782 231900) You will be given a Flock Mark, a unique, six digit number that enables you to identify your flock and trace the movements of the sheep.
If livestock are entering the food chain at any point, it is a requirement that you must register your feed usage. Registration is undertaken by the local authority, and can be done by contacting your Staffordshire County Council’s Animal Health office - please see the following link for more information: Feed Hygiene Registration
All movements of sheep and goats usually take place under the conditions of General Licence and should be by law recorded and reported by the keeper.
The following link will enable you to access Defra's webiste where you can find a copy of General Licence for Movement of Sheep and Goats
When moving sheep/goats onto your premise, to another premise/land, to market or abattoir, you need to have an Animal Movement Licence document (AML1). This form records the details of:
animals (number of animals & identification)
date and time of the movement
departure and destination of the movement
The AML1 form consist of 4 coloured carbonated copy sheets:
White - needs to be sent by the premise of destination to their Local Authority within 3 days of move
Pink - to be retained by the premise of destination
Blue - retained by the haulier
Yellow - retained by departure premise
By law this licence must accompany the animals during transport.
You can request copies of AML1 document by calling our main landline (01785 277875)
Electronic copy of the document is available from AHVLA website under the following link:
Each movement of sheep/goats onto the premise triggers a movement standstill which means that no livestock kept at that premise can be moved for the period of full 6 days (for sheep, goats, and cattle) or 20 days (for pigs)
There has been a relaxation in this requirement, in respect of movements to an abattoir, or market designated as a slaughter market. These movements can be made when your premise is under the standstill period.
All sheep and goats born after 31 December 2009 must be tagged within 9 months of birth if not housed overnight, 6 months if kept housed overnight or before they leave their holding of birth, whichever is sooner.
The identification of your sheep will depend on when were they born:
Sheep born before 2003 that have no individual number on their tag must be identified with a double tag showing their individual number before they can be moved (you may electronically identify them)
Sheep born before 31 December 2009 will already be identified with a double tag (non-electronic) and they do not have to be identified with EID tags.
Sheep born after 31 December 2009 must be identified in accordance to the electronic identification rules:
Fully EID (two tags with one of them being electronic) if kept over 12 months of age
Single EID or single non-EID if intended for slaughter before 12 months of age
In the event of moving an animal to a market, it is advisable to check with the market first, to ensure acceptable identification.
Goats should be identified with two tags both with the same individual number.Electronic identification of goats is optional.
If your sheep or goat looses an identifier you need to replace it within 28 days after the tag was removed or discovered to be missing or before you move the sheep off you holding (whichever is earlier)
Any tags replacement should be cross-referenced in the holding register.
All sheep and goats keepers in the UK are required by law to keep the following records:
records of movements contained within holding/flock register
on farm animal births and deaths
medicine applied and veterinary treatments
fallen stock collection receipts
AML1 copy of each movement.
All records except of the AML1 copy may be kept either in paper or electronically but it is important that all information is recorded as required by the officials guidelines. To see an example of a holding register please follow this link to AHVLA website:
Staffordshire County Council Animal Health Team is providing all Staffordshire keepers with free copies of Flock Registers and Medicine Books - please contact us on 01785 277875.
For more information on sheep Identification, Movements and Records please refer to the Guidance for keepers in England.