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Animal movements

Here you can find guidance on requirements that control the identification, tracing and movements of your livestock.

There are strict requirements that control the identification, tracing and movements of your livestock. These apply even if you have just one animal.

Animal identification and traceability is important for disease control and public confidence in farm produce. The regulations that apply to your business depend on the livestock that you keep.

For the latest on licensing requirements, visit: Livestock identification and movements (DEFRA) or contact us.

General Movement Licences

All livestock must be moved on a general licence granted by DEFRA, to:

  • Control animal movement;
  • and make sure the location of an animal can be easily identified.

DEFRA: Animal movement licence

There are four general licences and each one sets out mandatory rules on:

  • Cleansing and disinfection.
  • Scheduled stops.
  • Animal identification.
  • The movement and standstill period.
  • Exemptions.

There are some standard rules for all general licences, which stipulate that:

  • You must check for foot and mouth disease before you move any animal. Inform your local Animal and plant health agency (APHA) office, if evidence of the disease is found.
  • Vehicles used for the transport of animals must be cleaned and disinfected in accordance with animal transport regulations.
  • Multiple pick-ups and drop-offs are permitted for movements under the licences.
  • More than one species of animal may be transported.
  • Animal identification must comply with the relevant regulations.

You do not need to apply for a general licence, but you must comply with its conditions. Failure to comply with the conditions may mean that you are barred from using it. You would then have to apply for an individual licence each time you wished to move livestock. You could also be prosecuted.

Reporting pig movements

Pigs movement general licence


Note: The four-page carbon movement document (Animal Movement Licence AML2) was replaced by the haulier summary (HS) document.

Before pig movements take place, the keeper must notify the British Pig Executive (BPEX):

  • Online;
  • or via the Meat and Livestock Commission Services Ltd (MLCSL) bureau service.

Changes to the movement information can be made within 24 hours of the move taking place. Do this by phone, fax, post, text message or online.

Electronic eAML2 licences

The eAML2 is the electronic version of the pig movement licence AML2. It combines the AML2 and food chain information (FCI) paper forms that are required when moving pigs to slaughter. The system allows you to report electronically via the website or through the bureau system. To register online (free), visit: eAML2 or by phone the helpline: 0844 335 8400.

Reporting sheep movements

Sheep and goats movement general licence


Livestock keepers can report sheep (or goat or deer) movements electronically. However, farmers can continue to report movements on paper if they prefer to do so.

For movements, the ARAMS-1 form has been replaced by the:

  • LIS-1 for sheep and goats.
  • LIS-2 for deer.

You can get these documents from:

A copy of the movement document must be sent within three days of the movement, to:

  • Livestock information Service (LIS), PO Box 6299, Milton Keynes MK10 1ZQ. (address on the forms).

Reporting cattle movements

Cattle movement general licence

British Cattle Movement Service (BCMS)

You must register with the British Cattle Movement Service which maintains the Cattle Tracing System (CTS) database.

All cattle movements must be notified to the British Cattle Movement Service (BCMS) within three working days.

Standstill periods

Any movement of animals onto your premises will trigger a standstill period. During this time, no stock will be permitted to move off. The standstill period is six days for sheep and cattle and 20 days for pigs. However there are exemptions. For more details, visit: Livestock identification and movements (DEFRA) or contact us:

Community Safety:

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