Since the Foot and Mouth outbreak in 2001, certain rules have been introduced by
the EU and by DEFRA in England ( www.defra.gov.uk ) and equivalent departments
in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. The rules and departments are constantly
changing so check if unsure. Goats are classified as farm animals and the following
rules apply even if a small number of goats are kept in a back garden in the middle
of a town.
1. A county parish holding (CPH) number or Location Code (Scotland) is required to
identify the land where your goats are kept. This is free and can be obtained from
rural payments departments i.e. RPA (England) , RPW (Wales) and SCRIPID
2. A movement licence is required before a goat can be moved from one place to
another. In England movements must be reported to the Animal Reporting and
Movement Service (ARAMS). In Wales the EIDCymru system and AML1 forms
are in use. In Scotland movements should be reported to the Scottish Animal
Movement Unit (SAMU).
A copy of the licence must accompany the goats during the movement. Copies of
the forms can be printed or self -copying 4 page documents can be obtained from
central locations such as markets, some abattoirs or larger showgrounds. The
forms should be started by the keeper of the animal and extra signatures and
contact details added. The top copy (white) must be returned to the office
specified on the form within 3 days of the movement, one copy (pink) must travel
with the animal and be kept by the receiver, a third (blue) should be retained by
the haulier and the fourth (yellow) should be retained by the owner of the holding
Visits to the vet do not require a movement licence, although these should be
recorded in the Movement Book.
3. All animals must be identified by earmarks i.e. eartags or tattoo, or pastern tags,
showing a herd mark and an individual identification number. It is the
responsibility of the seller or owner to ensure that this is done. The herd mark of
birth will be used initially. If one or both tags are lost, they can be replaced using
‘replica’ tags showing the original number. Alternatively new, red replacement
tags may be purchased showing the herd mark of the current owner. The herd
mark/number is a unique number, which you can obtain from your local Animal
and Plant Heath Agency (APHA) office.
4. A Movement Book must be kept, recording every movement of individual animals
onto or from your holding. These books can be purchased or a printable and
electronic (Microsoft Excel) version of the register can be downloaded from the
DEFRA website. https://www.gov.uk/guidance/sheep-and-goat-keepers-how-to-keep-a-holding-register
An annual inventory must be submitted to DEFRA, EIDCymru or
5. Medicine records must be kept.