The advice sheets below have the latest information on animal health and welfare. If you need more advice call 01753 475111 (Enforcement & Regulatory option).
In the guide
This guidance is for England
Persons keeping pigs for the first time must obtain a county parish holding (CPH) number and then notify the Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA). Pig movements must comply with the 'general licence' for the movement of pigs and must be reported.
Subject to certain exceptions, once pigs have been moved on to premises no pigs can be moved off those premises for 20 complete days (sheep, goats or cattle may be moved after six complete days). A haulier summary must accompany pigs being moved and moves must be pre-notified.
Records of the movement of pigs must be kept (in the correct format) and the pigs must be correctly identified with either an ear tag, tattoo or slapmark.
Swill and catering waste cannot be fed to any pig.
Whether you want to keep a pet pig or a commercial herd of pigs you will first require a CPH number, which identifies the land where the pigs will be kept.
To apply for a CPH you need to contact the Rural Payments Agency (RPA) customer registration helpline on 03000 200 301.
An occupier of a holding who begins to keep pigs on that holding, and any person who takes over the occupation of a holding where pigs are kept, must notify APHA of their name and address, and the address of the holding. This must be done within one month. APHA should be contacted on 03000 200 301 or firstname.lastname@example.org. They will provide you with your herd number at this stage.
You must also notify APHA, within one month, if you stop keeping pigs.
Pig movements can be reported either online using the free eAML2 system, or via the telephone / in writing using a bureau service provided by AHDB Pork (opens in a new window).
The eAML2 is the electronic version of a 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 all moves undertaken online or via the bureau system.
You can register online free at the eAML2 (opens in a new window) website or by ringing the helpline on 0844 335 8400.
You are required to pre-notify the movement of your pigs prior to the journey commencing. Once the journey has been completed, the destination abattoir / farm / market will confirm the move and receipt of the pigs.
By pre-notifying the movement online, a haulier summary can be printed and carried with you or by the haulier transporting your pigs during the journey, as required by law. If you pre-notify the move via the bureau service they will send you a haulier summary in the post and the movement cannot take place until this document is received (so please consider this when planning your moves).
There are occasions where you may not need to pre-notify a movement (such as taking pigs to a market). However, these are only in specific circumstances so you need to check this with the market / AHDB Pork bureau service before you move any of your animals.
The eAML2 electronic pig licence combines the AML2 and food chain information (FCI) paper forms that are required when moving pigs to slaughter.
If you pre-notify the move via the bureau service the movement will still combine the AML2 and FCI.
The keeper of a pig must make and maintain a record, showing the following details:
A template movement record is attached.
Details of movements must be recorded within 36 hours of their taking place and the record must be retained for three years.
A yearly count of pigs must take place and the maximum number normally on the holding recorded together with the actual amount.
Swill or catering waste (waste from catering and domestic waste) cannot be fed to any pig.
Catering waste is defined in EU Regulation (EU) No 142/2011 as: 'all waste food, including used cooking oil originating in restaurants, catering facilities and kitchens, including central kitchens and household kitchens'. Pigs, therefore, cannot be fed any kind of kitchen or restaurant waste, meat, old sandwiches or animal by-products.
More information on controls related to animal feed (opens in a new window)can be found on the GOV.UK website.
No person may move a pig off a holding unless it has either:
Pigs less than one year old may instead have a temporary mark, which is recorded on the accompanying movement document and identifies the holding of departure. Temporary marks must last until the pigs reach their destination. Temporary marks are not permitted for movements to a market, slaughterhouse, inter-community trade or export, or to a show.
Management information may be added to the ear tag or tattoo provided it is distinguishable from the official mark.
Ear tags must be:
All pigs must be correctly identified before they leave premises. The requirements are as follows.
Exhibitions, shows & breeding
A pig being moved to an exhibition, show, or for breeding purposes with the intention of returning the pig to the holding from which it was moved, must be identified with either:
A pig may be moved from a market if it is marked with the herd mark of the holding from which it arrived. If it is not so marked it may only be returned home.
Pigs must be identified with an ear tag or tattoo consisting of the letters 'UK' followed by the herd mark of the holding and a unique individual identification number.
Note: in the case of exhibitions, shows, breeding and for export, the full identification must be recorded as part of the animal movement record.
'Twenty-day standstill' disease detection & control
Under the Disease Control (England) Order 2003 a person wishing to move a pig should be in possession of, and must comply with, the conditions of the 'general licence' for the movement of pigs. A copy of the general licence (opens in a new window) can be obtained from the GOV.UK website.
No pigs may be moved off premises within 20 complete days of any pigs being moved on to those premises, or any other premises in the same sole-occupancy group. This means pigs cannot move anywhere until 20 complete days have elapsed - that is, they are free to move again on the 21st day after pigs were moved on to your premises.
Any sheep, goats or cattle on a holding to which pigs are moved to cannot move off (with limited exceptions) until six complete days have elapsed - in other words, sheep, goats and cattle are free to move again on the seventh day after pigs were moved on to your premises.
'Six-day standstill' following movement of sheep, goats or cattle
No pigs may be moved off a premises within six days of any sheep, goats or cattle moving on to those premises or any other premises in the same sole-occupancy group.
Exemptions from 'standstill'
There is an exemption for pigs being moved to an abattoir, or to slaughter via dedicated slaughter market or slaughter collection centre.
Pigs moved within a Defra-approved pyramid, and pigs being moved on from a Defra-approved source do not trigger a 20-day standstill at the destination premises.
Pigs (mainly specialist or pedigree breeding stock) that are not within a pyramid may move to a farm for breeding and will not trigger a standstill either there or when they return home provided that:
Pigs moving to a show are exempt from the standstill on the premises of origin provided that they are individually identified and have been kept in Defra-approved isolation facilities for 20 complete days before departure. They will not trigger a standstill on return provided that they are kept in Defra-approved isolation facilities for 20 days.
From summer 2016 keepers with multiple holdings within a ten mile radius of the main point of business will be able to merge all such holdings into one holding number; there will be no movement reporting or recording requirements and therefore no standstill requirements for such movements. If this applies to you, APHA will be contacting you directly to explain the options.
Failure to comply with the above requirements is an offence under the Animal Health Act 1981. The maximum penalty is a fine and two years' imprisonment.
Last reviewed / updated: September 2017
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 UK legislation can be found on each link's 'More Resources' tab; amendments to EU legislation are usually incorporated into the text.