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Sheep and Goats

Sheep and Goats


If you intend to keep sheep or goats, even as pets, you must register with the Rural Payments Agency (RPA) to get a County Parish Holding (CPH) number for your premises or the land on which the animals are kept.

This must be done within one month of obtaining your animals.

This number will be needed when reporting any movement of sheep or goats to or from your premise.

The RPA can be contacted on  03000 200 301. Select the option 'register' or 'amend customer details'.

Once you have a CPH number, you will need to register for keeping sheep or goats by contacting the Animal Health and Plant Agency (APHA) on 03000 200 301. Select the option 'registration'.

You will be given a Flock Mark. This is an identification number which is a unique identifier for your animals.


All movements of sheep and goats usually take place under the conditions of a general licence and should be recorded and reported by the keeper.

When moving sheep or goats to another premise, land parcel, market or abattoir, you need to report this move to the Livestock Information Service (LIS).

Electronic reporting

This can be done electronically via the Livestock Information Service -  Livestock Information Ltd. You can create an account online – How to Create an account – Livestock Information Ltd or by calling on 03300 416 557 or emailing support@livestockinformation.org.uk.

If reporting electronically, the movement must also be confirmed by the receiving keeper within 3 days of the movement.

Paper licences

You may continue using a paper licence which is now a LIS1 and replaces the old ARAMS1 form.

This form records the details of:

  • animals (number of animals & identification)
  • date and time of the movement
  • departure and destination of the movement
  • transportation

The form consists of 4 sheets.

White - Top Copy

This needs to be returned, within 3 days of the movement, by the receiving keeper to:

Livestock Information Service
c/o Defra
Chapel Bank Works
Curwen Road
CA14 2DD

With the remaining 3 copies, one is to be retained by the departure premise, one to be retained by the haulier and one to be retained by the premise of destination.

Supplies of LIS1 forms can be obtained from livestock markets. You can also download a copy here  LIS1 Form or from the LIS website, if downloading and printing the form, 4 copies will need to be printed. The haulier or transporter is legally required to carry a copy of the movement during transport. This can be a copy of the movement printed from the LIS website or an electronic copy available to view on a mobile device.

Movement standstill

Each movement of sheep or goats onto the premise triggers a movement standstill. This means that no livestock kept at that premise can be moved for the minimum period of 6 clear days.

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

The exemptions to this rule are:

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

These movements can still be made if your premise is under the 6 day standstill.


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.
  • Before they leave their holding of birth.

Whichever is sooner.

In an emergency you may take an unidentified animal off your holding to visit a vet, but you must:

  • Identify the animal as soon as it is back on your holding
  • Record the move to the vet in your flock register


If the animal is for:

Breeding (kept past 12 months of age)

You need two identifiers, both with the same number, one of which must be an electronic identifier (EID). This is called ‘full EID’.

Slaughter (before 12 months of age)

You need a single EID identifier. Single tags for slaughter lambs came in on 1 January 2015. 


Breeding (kept past 12 months of age)

You need two identifiers, both with the same number.

Slaughter (before 12 months of age)

You need a single identifier

Please note: Electronic identification (EID) is optional for goats.

Lost or missing tags

If your sheep or goat loses 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 animal off your holding (whichever is earlier)

Any tag replacements should be cross-referenced in your holding register.

Please see the list of approved tag suppliers.


All sheep and goat keepers in the UK are required to keep the following records. Holding registers & LIS 1 forms should be kept for 3 years from the last day an animal dies or leaves the holding:

  • All on and off movements.
  • On farm deaths.
  • Tag replacements.
  • Veterinary medicines and treatments, purchased and administered.
  • Fallen stock collection receipts.
  • An LIS1 copy of each movement if reporting on paper.

All records may be kept either in a paper or electronic format. It is important that all information is recorded as required by the official guidelines.

You can get a sheep and goat holding register from the Gov.uk website.

Veterinary Medicines

It is a legal requirement to keep a record of all medicines administered to food producing animals, including those administered by your veterinary surgeon or in-feed. These records can be kept on paper or computer and must be retained for at least 5 years.

You can view the code of practice on the responsible use of animal medicines on farms can be viewed on central government website.

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

Further information

You can find more detailed information on  Keeping sheep and goats on the gov.uk website.

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