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The advice sheets below have the latest information on animal health and welfare. If you need more advice call 01753 475111 (Regulatory Services option).
In the guide
The requirements at animal gatherings - such as livestock shows and markets - to reduce the risk of disease spreading
This guidance is for England
Good standards of biosecurity on farms, at animal gatherings (which includes livestock markets, collection centres and livestock shows or exhibitions) and on livestock vehicles must be maintained to reduce the risk of the spread of disease.
Livestock markets, shows / exhibitions and collection centres are known collectively as 'animal gatherings'. Such events must be licensed by the Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA), which is an executive agency of the Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra). There are statutory fees payable for licensing of premises by APHA. One day shows (where no public sale or auction of animals takes place), and gatherings solely for the purpose of an inspection to confirm that animals possess specific breed characteristics, are exempt from licence fees.
Whilst the risks from diseases such as foot-and-mouth remain the same, the methods of mitigating and dealing with those risks have, in recent years, been subject to a comprehensive and industry-led review. Controls are in place to mitigate disease risks and it is the responsibility of the industry to oversee and control certain biosecurity measures. However, enforcement authorities can still take action if there is a biosecurity risk at an animal gathering.
More information on general biosecurity can be found on the GOV.UK website.
Points to note
Please note the following, which will affect you when delivering / sending livestock to an animal gathering:
GOV.UK animal gatherings guidance gives essential advice to supplement the legal obligations of those people running a market, as well as those attending in whatever capacity.
For further information on the day of a gathering, please speak to the licensee or animal health inspector on duty.
Failure to comply with trading standards law can lead to enforcement action and to sanctions, which may include a fine and/or imprisonment. For more information please see 'Trading standards: powers, enforcement and penalties'.
Last reviewed / updated: August 2020
In this update
Information added about exemption from fees
This information is intended for guidance; only the courts can give an authoritative interpretation of the law.
The guide's 'Key legislation' links may only show the original version of the legislation, although some amending legislation is linked to separately where it is directly related to the content of a guide. Information on amendments to legislation can be found on each link's 'More Resources' tab.