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How do I register?

Whether you keep one pet pig or a commercial herd you must register with the Rural Payments Agency (RPA):

Phone: 03000 200 301

This should be done before you start to keep pigs on the land.

County Parish Holding numbers

You will then be allocated with a County Parish Holding number (CPH) for your premises or the land on which the pigs are to be kept.

This number will be required when reporting any movements. If you do this before the pigs are moved to your holding it will make it easier for the dispatching keeper to report the move.

Animal Health and Plant Agency registration

Once you have a CPH number, you need to register for keeping pigs by contacting the Animal Health and Plant Agency (AHPA):

Phone: 03000 200 301

You must do this no later than 30 days from receiving your first pigs, or beforehand.

Herd marks

You will be allocated a Herd Mark. This mark is unique to your pigs and is used for identification.

Herd marks for pigs are 1 or 2 letters followed by 4 digits e.g. A1234 or AB1234.


Pig movements usually take place under the conditions of a general licence. They should be recorded and reported by the keeper.

Please note: you can only move pigs to a CPH registered holding.

How do I report pig movements?

You have two options to report all planned movements of your pigs:

Please note: the paper based reporting system is no longer available. All pig movements are reported electronically.

When should I report movements?

If you choose to report the movements by phone you will need to do this early enough to receive your haulier summary. This must accompany the pigs during transport.

Movement standstills

Each movement of pigs onto the premise triggers a movement standstill. This means that no livestock kept at that premise can be moved for the minimum period of:

  • 20 clear days for pigs on and pigs off
  • 6 clear days for pigs on and any other species off

Please note: the day of purchase does not count as a clear day.

Any other species moving onto the holding will impose a 6 day standstill on the pigs on that holding.


The exemptions to this are:

  • Movements direct to slaughter.
  • Movements to a designated Red Slaughter Market.

These movements can still be made if your premise is under a movement standstill.


Pigs over 12 months of age

These should be identified with your Defra herdmark by means of one of the following:

  • Double Slapmark (applied to both of the pigs front shoulders using permanent ink)
  • Tattoo (applied on one of the pigs ears)
  • Eartag (single)

Pigs under12 months of age

These can be moved on a temporary mark e.g. a paint mark, only if they are being moved between farms.

If they are being moved to slaughter or market you should follow the identification rules above.

Lost or illegible eartags

Any lost or illegible eartags need to be replaced as soon as possible but no later than 28 days after you notice the loss or illegibility.

Any replacement should be recorded.


All pig keepers in the UK are required to keep the following records:

  • All on and off movements (these may now be kept electronically on the eAML2 system).
  • On farm deaths.
  • Tag replacements.
  • Veterinary medicines and treatments, both purchased and administered.
  • Fallen stock receipts.

All movement records needs to be kept for 3 years after the last entry in the book if you stop keeping pigs.

Please note: you don't have to keep a holding register if you have an eAML2 account as these details are all recorded on the system.

This will suffice for any Local Authority Inspector though you will need to make paper copies of records available if requested.

A pig holding register produced by us is available to print below:

For further information on keeping pigs, please view the leaflet below:

Micro and pet pigs

When purchasing a pig for keeping as a hobby or pet, particularly when purchasing a piglet, a little research will assure you that you are purchasing a breed that is suitable for your environment.

Micro-pigs are not a recognised breed, but have been developed through selective breeding to create a pig that is smaller than those produced for commercial pig breeding.

Please note: this selective breeding, as with other specialised domestic pets, can lead to animals which have genetic weaknesses or susceptibilities.

A number of owners have been caught out when their micro-pig has grown into a full size pig. These can weigh around 150 to 200kg.

As some owners have not had the facilities to care for a pig of this size, they have had to make some difficult decisions.

For further information on keeping pigs as pets please view the leaflet below:


Your pigs should be fed a wholesome diet in sufficient quantity to maintain good health.

Please note: It is illegal to feed your pigs with waste food or scraps from your kitchen. For further information on what can or cannot be fed to farm animals, please see the guidance page on the Gov.uk website.

Veterinary Medicines

It is a legal requirement to keep a record of all medicines administered to food producing animals, even if your pig is a pet.

This includes all medicines administered by your veterinary surgeon or in-feed.

These records can be kept on paper or computer. They must be retained for at least 5 years.

Please see the code of practice on Gov.uk's Responsible use of animal medicines on the farm page.

A veterinary medicine record book produced by us is available to print below:

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