Renfrewshire Council

Movements of cattle, pigs, sheep and goats

Movements of cattle, pigs, sheep and goats (with a few exceptions e.g. for veterinary treatment) must be reported to the national movement database.

Before moving livestock - Cattle - Sheep and goats - Pigs - Horses

In the event of an outbreak of disease, it is essential to know the exact location of all livestock.

Before moving livestock

Before moving livestock, you need a County Parish Holding number (CPH) from the Scottish Government for the land where the livestock will be kept.

The CPH is a nine digit number:

  • the first 2 digits identify the county
  • the next 3 identify the parish, and
  • the last 4 digits are a unique number to the keeper e.g. 12/345/6789.

The CPH is a crucial factor in identifying the actual holding animals are being moved from and to. When a keeper of livestock is registered, a unique flock/herd mark will automatically be created. Herdmarks for pigs are one or two letters followed by four digits e.g. AB1234 or A1234. Flock/herd marks for cattle, sheep and goats are six digits e.g. 123456. The herdmark provides a quick and effective means of identifying the premises from which livestock have moved.


Tagging: Cattle born on or after 1 January 1998 must have a Defra approved eartag in each ear (double tagging). The tag in each ear must have the same unique number. Such animals will be identified throughout their lifetime by this unique number. Animals born or imported into Great Britain before 1 January 1998 may continue to be identified by a single tag.

Farm records: Records of cattle births, movements and deaths must be kept by keepers for 10 full calendar years

Passports: Cattle born since 1 July 1996 must have passports, recording where they have been throughout their lives. Older cattle have certificates of CTS Registration.

The Cattle Tracing System (CTS) is a computer based system to register cattle in Great Britain maintained by the British Cattle Movement Service (BCMS). The CTS records the identification and death of cattle, the movements from birth to death of cattle issued with passports from 28 September 1998, and the movements of older cattle since 29 January 2001. Cattle keepers can now register new calves, report movements and check information held on their cattle through the CTS website.

Sheep and goats

Tagging: All sheep and goats born after 9 July 2005 must have a Baseline UK eartag applied within 9 months in extensive systems (6 months in other cases) and in any case prior to being moved. Older sheep must be tagged/tattooed as appropriate before being moved. For moves within the UK there are 4 main types of eartag:

  • Baseline UK
  • Baseline S (older sheep only)
  • Red R or replacement

Sheep and Goats: Scottish Animal Movement Unit (SAMU)

Farm Records: Records of sheep and goat movements must be kept by keepers for 6 full calendar years.

Annual Inventory: A record must be made of the number of sheep and goats on a holding on 1January of each year and details notified to the Scottish Government Rural Affairs Department.

Movement Document: All movements for sheep and goats (except for emergency veterinary treatment) must be accompanied by a movement document. A copy of the movement document must be kept at the holdings of departure and destination for 3 years. The Scottish Animal Movement Unit must also be notified within 3 days of any movement.


The Pigs (Records, Identification and Movements) (Scotland) Order 2011 came into force on the 1st October 2011. It represents a significant change in the way that pigs are identified. Previously, pigs could be sent to a slaughterhouse with the only identification being a red line down their backs. This is no longer the case. A pig must now be identified by eartag, tattoo or slapmark.

This requirement has identified the fact that some small pig producers are not registered with the Animal Health & Veterinary Laboratories Agency (AHVLA) (formerly the State Veterinary Service). If you have pigs and have not registered with the Agency, please contact AHVLA on 0845 0509876. The Agency will also assist you by providing a unique herd number for your pigs.

What type of identification you use is your own choice. However, you should consider the options with advice from your animal health product supplier and if he/she has concerns about the welfare issues of (for instance) putting eartags into older pigs, you should consult your veterinary surgeon.

Many small scale pig producers operate extensive systems and it is necessary to be sure that you can handle pigs in order to attach or apply identification in a way which is as stress free as possible and which is also safe for you as the handler.

Prior to this legislation, movements of pigs were notified to the Scottish Animal Movements Unit by the local authority. This was done via the Schedule 2 form (often known as a Pig Movement Document or Form) which was provided by the pig owner.

Again this has changed and movements are via the ScotEID movement database.


All horses, including ponies, donkeys and crossbreeds, need to have their own horse passport. The Horse Identification (Scotland) Regulations 2009 require that when a horse is moved:

  • for competition purposes
  • for breeding purposes
  • out of Scotland
  • to the premises of a new keeper, or
  • for veterinary treatment

it must travel with a valid horse passport.

It is an offence for any person to sell a horse without a passport. For all new horse passport applications the horse must be microchipped.