Animal movements

There are strict requirements that control the identification, tracing and movements of your livestock, and these requirements 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.

The latest information on licensing requirements should be sought from us or from DEFRA (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs): Livestock identification and movements .

General Movement Licences

To control animal movement and to ensure the location of an animal can be easily identified, all livestock must be moved on a general licence granted by DEFRA.


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 and 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, and 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


Pig keepers should be aware that the four-page carbon movement document (Animal Movement Licence AML2) has been replaced by a haulier summary (HS) document.

From now on before pig movements take place the keeper must pre-notify the British Pig Executive (BPEX) online or through the Meat and Livestock Commission Services Ltd (MLCSL) bureau service.

Any changes to the movement information after pre-notification can be made within 24 hours of the move taking place 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. You can register online free at the: eAML2 website, or by phoning 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. An ARAMS-1 document has replaced the AML1 form for sheep and goat movements. You can get the ARAMS-1 document from your local livestock market, some of the major showgrounds and the ARAMS  website.

A copy of the movement document must be sent within three days of the movement to the address on the forms:

Animal Reporting and Movement Service, South Western, PO Box 6299, Milton Keynes MK10 1ZQ.

Reporting cattle movements

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 which 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. Check the details on DEFRA Livestock identification and movements  or contact us for further details;

  • Username Licensing
  • Email
  • Telephone 01422 393001 / 393002 / 393131
  • Address
    The Licensing Unit
    Calderdale MBC
    Town Hall
    HX1 1UJ

See also