Livestock identification and traceability: guidance

How we identify animals and how they are tracked when they are moved.


From 1 January 2021 there will be some changes to the requirements around the export of livestock from Scotland to the European Union (EU) and movements to Northern Ireland (NI). Whilst the below export requirements for movements to the EU will not change, requirements for exports from Great Britain (GB) to NI are subject to ongoing negotiations. As currently written, the Northern Ireland Protocol will require movements of livestock from GB to NI to be treated as if moving livestock to a Member State from 1 January 2021. Read the guidance about livestock identification export requirements post EU exit.

If you intend to keep livestock animals there are a number of steps that must be done before you can do so.

This information should assist you depending on the species of livestock you intend to keep.

In practical terms the following are key legal requirements.

You must:

  • register as a keeper on every holding that you use
  • identify each of your animals
  • notify all movements of animals on and off your holding
  • keep your records up-to-date

Related information

Animal diseases: notifiable and non-notifiable diseases

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