Movement of livestock

There are certain rules relating to the movement of livestock, including livestock kept as pets.

Cattle, pigs, sheep and goats

The Disease Control (England) Order 2003 (as amended) permits the movement of cattle, pigs, sheep and goats in certain circumstances without the need for a specific licence. This is known as the “general licence”.

Cattle, pigs, sheep and goats cannot be moved under the general licence:

  • from one market to another;
  • from a market to a collecting centre;
  • in the case of pigs, from a market;
  • in the case of sheep and goats, from a market to an approved assembly area, although there is an exception for sheep and goats which have completed the 21 day residency and the appropriate standstill on the premises of origin where they are moved from a market handling only sheep and goats to an approved assembly area;
  • from a collecting centre to a market;
  • from one collecting centre to another;
  • from a slaughterhouse;
  • in the case of pigs, from a collecting centre to a farm;
  • from a dedicated slaughter market unless the movement is to a slaughterhouse;
  • from a dedicated slaughter collection unless the movement is to a slaughterhouse;
  • from a market to an artificial insemination centre;
  • from an approved assembly centre unless the movement is to a port or airport, to a slaughterhouse situated in Great Britain, to the premises from which the animal was initially moved from to the assembly centre or to a dedicated slaughter market;
  • in the case of pet pigs being walked, a pet pig walking licence should be obtained;
  • if another animal has been moved onto the premises during the “standstill period” where this is prohibited by the Disease Control (England) Order 2003 (as amended). The standstill period for cattle, sheep and goats is 6 days. For pigs the standstill period is 20 days;
  • from a premises where a notice has been served on the occupier of those premises prohibiting the movement of animals from those premises under the general licence;
  • to or from a zoo, or between zoos;
  • from any premises within a Sole Occupancy Authority to any premises outside that Sole Occupancy Authority whilst any premises within that Sole Occupancy Authority are under a movement standstill made in accordance with the provisions of the Disease Control (England) Order 2003 (as amended);
  • where restrictions are in place due to an outbreak of Foot and Mouth disease.

In order to comply with the terms of the general licence the following conditions must be met:

  • the owner or keeper must inspect the animal for signs of Foot and Mouth disease before moving them (if an animal shows signs of disease it cannot be moved under the general licence);
  • any vehicle used to transport the animal must be thoroughly cleansed and disinfected;
  • the animals must be properly identified;
  • the owner or keeper of cattle moved must notify the British Cattle Movement Service of the movement within 3 days. The owner or keeper of pigs, sheep or goats must notify their local authority of the movement within 3 days.

Multiple pick-ups and drop offs and scheduled stops are allowed under the general licence in certain circumstances and different species of animals can travel in the same vehicle.

All movements to and from a farm must be recorded in the holding register for that farm.

Deer

The Disease Control (England) Order 2003 (as amended) permits the movement of deer in certain circumstances without the need for a specific licence. This is known as the “general licence”.

Deer cannot be moved under the general licence:

  • from a premises where a notice has been served on the occupier of those premises prohibiting the movement of animals from those premises under the general licence;
  • to or from a zoo, or between zoos;
  • to or from agricultural shows;
  • where restrictions are in place due to an outbreak of Foot and Mouth disease.

In order to comply with the terms of the general licence the following conditions must be met:

  • the owner or keeper must inspect the animal for signs of Foot and Mouth disease before moving them (if an animal shows signs of disease it cannot be moved under the general licence);
  • any vehicle used to transport the animal must be thoroughly cleansed and disinfected;
  • the animals must be properly identified;
  • the owner or keeper of deer moved must notify their local authority of the movement within 3 days.

Multiple pick-ups and drop offs and scheduled stops are allowed under the general licence in certain circumstances and different species of animals can travel in the same vehicle.

All movements to and from a farm must be recorded in the holding register for that farm.

Horses, ponies and donkeys

Horses, ponies and donkeys cannot be moved without a “horse passport” except in certain circumstances, for example, where they are taken on a short hack.

Llamas, alpacas, guanacos and vicunas

Currently there are no rules relating to the movement of llamas, alpacas, guanacos and vicunas, although this may well change in the future.