Animal movement licences

We need to keep track of where livestock are to help us stop diseases from spreading. There are strict rules controlling the identification and movement of livestock. These rules apply to you even if you only keep one animal of the species covered.

The Disease Control Order requires all movements of cattle, sheep, goats, pigs and deer to be notified to the Department for Environment Food & Rural Affairs (Defra). The details are entered onto a database so that in the event of a disease outbreak all livestock are traceable to enable effective measures to be put in place to control and eradicate highly contagious animal diseases.

You will need to keep and retain a copy of the general licence for the animal species that you farm as it informs you of the legal requirements associated with any movement of animals that you undertake. It does not accompany the livestock.

In addition to the general licence, movements of sheep, goats, pigs and deer must be accompanied by a movement document. Cattle and horses are moved under the control of a relevant passport.

You must complete a movement document every time you move sheep, goats, pigs or deer from your holding. All movements must be reported by the person receiving the animals within three days of the movement taking place.

You will need a copy of the movement document for the departure point, the haulier and destination.


About this licence
Application and guidance notes

Whenever you move cattle, pigs, sheep, goats and deer you must comply with the conditions of the general licence.

General licence for the movement of cattle, pigs, sheep, goats and deer on GOV.UK