Animal health and welfare

Contact us: Animal health and welfare


Do you keep poultry or game birds? Have you registered?

All bird keepers need to plan how they will protect their flocks from diseases like Avian influenza ('bird flu'), Newcastle disease and Salmonella. If you are not sure what to do, seek advice from your vet.

The best way of being kept informed on any disease outbreak (such as bird flu) in your area is to register your flock of birds with the Animal and Plant Health Agency. You will be contacted immediately, via email or text with updates, enabling you to protect your flock at the earliest opportunity.

How to Register?

You must register poultry flocks of 50 or more birds that you own or are responsible for. We would strongly encourage those with less than 50 birds to register as well. They don’t have to all be the same species. This applies even if your premises are only stocked for part of the year.

You should register your poultry within one month of their arrival at your premises.

By email

Complete the registration form available at GOV.UK: Poultry (including game birds) - registration rules and forms (external website) and email it to

There are guidance notes to help you complete the form. Welsh versions of the registration form and guidance notes are also available.

By phone

Ask for a registration form by contacting the GB Poultry Register Helpline on 0800 634 1112.

Lines are open 8:30am to 5:00pm Monday to Friday

Find out more about keeping poultry (external website)

Animal health

If an officer suspects that an animal has been caused unnecessary suffering, they will ask a veterinary surgeon to examine the animal. In extreme cases we may decide to prosecute which can lead to a fine, prison sentence and a ban from keeping animals.

Importing and exporting

Imports and exports of live animals is controlled to prevent the spreading of disease. The level of control required will depend upon the species being imported and whether or not the country of origin is within the European Union (EU). 

Find out more about importing animals (external website)

Find out more about animal exports (external website)

Farm animal movements and identification

All livestock must be properly identified before they are moved and have the relevant documentation accompanying them. For cattle and horses these documents are individual passports for each animal issued by other organisations, British Cattle Movement Service (BCMS) for cattle, and a Passport Issuing Office (PIO) for horses).

For sheep, goats, pigs and deer, a movement document for each batch of animals moved is required.

Whilst some movements are exempt from the requirement to notify, the details of most movements will need to be reported to the BCMS, EID Cymru, PIO, eAML2 database at British Pig Executive (BPEX).

Even if you keep livestock for non-commercial reasons, you must register with the Welsh Government. 

Find out more about movements and identification (external website).


All horses must have a horse passport and regulations require all foals to have a microchip implanted by a veterinary surgeon when their owners apply for a passport. The horse’s rider or keeper must have the passport with them at all times when they’re with the animal, unless it’s in a stable, grazing in a field, or being moved by foot. 

Find out more about keeping horses (external website)

Livestock welfare

Anyone responsible for farm animals must take reasonable steps to make sure the animal’s needs are met, this includes during transport, at markets and at slaughter. 

You can contact us to report cruelty to livestock. 

Contact us: Animal health and welfare

Find out more about livestock welfare (external website)

Movement standstill

When sheep, goats or cattle move onto your holding, no other animals can move off it for 6 days, or 20 days when pigs are brought in, unless they are being taken directly to a slaughterhouse. 

Use the 20 day standstill calculator when pigs move onto your holding.

20 day standstill calculator (PDF, 71KB)

Use the 6 day calculator when sheep, goats or cattle more onto your holding. 

6 day standstill calculator (PDF, 71KB)

Fallen farm animals

You must make sure that any animals (including stillborns) and animal parts that have died are disposed of by one of the following ways: 

  •  In an approved on farm incinerator i.e. own on farm for own stock only 
  • Consignment to approved renderers or incinerators 
  • Collection by approved final users e.g. knackerman or hunt kennels

Fallen animals or parts must be collected and transported in clean, dry, covered leak-proof containers/vehicles and labelled 'not for animal consumption'. These must be cleansed, washed and disinfected after each use. 

Find out more on disposing fallen farm animals (external website)

More information

Visit the animal licenses page to find out about which animal licenses owners and businesses need to comply with the law.