Livestock Movements – Changes in rules

Livestock Movements – Changes in rules

Posted on Wed, 14/06/2017 - 10:34
Livestock Movements – Changes in rules

Defra are making changes to the way keepers can register their holdings in England for the purpose of recording and reporting livestock movements.

For some farmers, this may simplify how the holdings are registered and reduce the number of livestock movement reports that need to be submitted.

The new system is expected to be completed by summer 2017.

You may be affected by the changes if you keep cattle, sheep, goats or pigs.

If you are directly affected by any of these changes, you should receive a letter from Defra before July 2017. That letter will detail what the changes mean, the options available to you and any action that you may need to take.

Below is a summary of the changes, further information is available on the GOV.UK website.


10 Mile Rule:

New 10-mile rule. Under the new system, farmers will be able to move their animals around their land, within a 10-mile radius, without the need to report, and without standstills. Under the new rule, you will be able to apply to register all the land that you use, within a 10 mile radius, under the same County Parish Holding (CPH) number. This will cover land that you use permanently or on a temporary basis. The 10-mile radius is measured from the ‘place of business’ point of the CPH (usually the animal gathering point or correspondence address).

If you hold more than one CPH and would like to merge them, wait until you receive the letter from Defra. This will give you more details on how to apply to merge them.

Once the changes have been made, you will still need to record and report livestock movements between different CPHs. These movements will trigger the standstill rules on all the land included in the CPH to which your animals have moved.


Land you use permanently:

You will continue to register land that you use on a permanent basis (at your disposal for more than a year) under a permanent CPH number allocated by the RPA.


Land you use only temporarily:

If you use land on a temporary basis for keeping livestock (less than a year at a time), you can use the CPH number of the landowner.

If the owner will not allow that (or if the land is not yet covered by a CPH number) you will have two options:

  • You will be able to get a new temporary CPH (tCPH) number. This will last a maximum of one year (with an option to renew). Livestock movements between a tCPH and land covered by a different CPH must be reported and will trigger the standstill rules.


  • If you temporarily use land within 10 miles of a permanent CPH that you own, you will be able to associate that land via a Temporary Land Association (TLA). TLAs will also last up to a year (with an option to renew). During that time, the land will be treated as part of your permanent CPH for all livestock recording and reporting purposes. That is, you will not have to report livestock movements or observe standstill following moves of animals between the land that is permanently included in your CPH and the land temporarily associated to it. All current tCPHs will cease to exist. If you still use land on a temporary basis, you will be able to replace it with a new tCPH or a TLA as described above. You do not need to do anything now. Before your tCPH is removed, Defra will send you further information on your options and details of how to apply.


Cattle Tracing System links (CTS):

CTS links have allowed keepers to link holdings if they frequently move cattle between them. Movements between holdings linked on CTS do not have to be reported. Under the new system, all CTS links will be withdrawn by summer 2017. The British Cattle Movement Service (BCMS) will contact you before your link is due to expire to explain your options.


Sole Occupancy Authorities:

Sole Occupancy Authorities (SOAs) are a way of grouping together holdings that are under the management and control of the same livestock keeper. They allow that keeper to move the animals between those holdings without observing standstill. All SOAs will be withdrawn. Defra will write to you with further information on the options that will be available to you.


Sheep and goat movement reporting exemptions:

The batch reporting exemption will be removed. This allows sheep and goat movements between different holdings within the same business (provided the keepership does not change) to be reported at a batch level rather than at an individual level. Once this exemption has been removed, all breeding sheep movements between different CPHs must be reported at an individual animal level rather than a batch level – this means that an individual animal’s tag numbers are included in the movement report (except for movements of batch-tagged slaughter animals – who are identified with just their flock mark).

The adjacent moves reporting exemption will be removed. This currently allows frequent sheep or goat movements to contiguous (adjacent) land on a different holding without the need for movement reporting. Once this exemption has been removed, all livestock movements between different CPHs must be reported and recorded, whether or not the land is contiguous. However, keepers will have the option of applying for TLAs before this exemption is removed.


Please feel free to contact us if you have any queries. 

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