Following the Foot and Mouth outbreaks in 2001 and 2007, it became clear that there was a need for improved tracking of animal's movements. To this end, a rigourous regime of
licencing which controls a range of farm animals has been introduced under EU and UK legislation. The definition of farm animals also includes animals kept as pets (for example Vietnamese Pot Bellied pigs) The Local Authority has a statutory duty to ensure that farms and animal keepers are compliant with the legislation and has the power to enforce and prosecute those farms that are not compliant with the latest legislation.
The most common animals that have to be registered and require movement licences are sheep, pigs, cattle, goats and deer. The conditions which apply to these movements vary according to the type of animal, the destination and the type of trip. In addition, these conditions are being altered constantly so it is important to be aware of up-to-date information when applying for a movement licence or registering animals.
General rules covering animal registration and movement licenses can be found here.
All cattle in the European Union, and in many other countries, are individually identified and their movements traced throughout their lives. This is important for two reasons:
- It supports control and eradication of bovine diseases such as Tuberculosis (TB), Bovine Viral Diarrhoea (BVD) or foot and mouth disease.
- It protects consumers by ensuring that products going into the human food chain are fully traceable and safe.
Maintaining a healthy cattle herd and supporting consumer confidence in milk and beef are essential for the industry to be successful.
For these reasons regulations are laid down in European and UK law, which place responsibilities for cattle identification and tracing on all cattle keepers. Managing Cattle identification and movement licensing is carried out by the British Cattle Movement Service who run the UK’s Cattle Tracing Service (CTS). A link to the most recent guidelines and requirements on cattle identification (including passports) and movements is available here.
Sheep, goats and pigs and deer
Sheep, pigs, goats and deer are also required to comply with animal identification and movement legislation. Until recently for any movements of sheep, goats or pigs it was necessary for the keeper to complete an Animal Movement Licence (AML) and return it to the Local Authority prior to the commencement of the movement. However all pig movement licensing has been processed on line since April 2012 and as of April 2014 sheep and goat movement licensing will also be handled on line. AML forms for pigs must no longer be sent to the Council and as from April 2014 AML forms for sheep and goats will no longer be accepted by the Council.