Animal health and welfare

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, PIO, eAML2 database at British Pig Executive (BPEX) or the local authority.

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)


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. 

Premises keeping more than 50 birds must also be registered, although other poultry premises can voluntarily register. 

Find out more about keeping poultry (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. 

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.