Trading advice from several sources is available to help businesses comply with the law.
The Health and Safety Executive website has advice on:
The Chartered Trading Standards Institute provides advice on a number of topics:
In the guide
Pig keeping requires careful record keeping; the movement of pigs is also tightly controlled
Note: although the United Kingdom has left the European Union, certain pieces of legislation (formally known as 'retained EU law') will still apply until such time as they are replaced by new UK legislation; this means that you will still see references to EU regulations in our guidance.
This guidance is for England
Any person keeping pigs, including as pets, must comply with current movement reporting, recording and identification requirements.
Whether you want to keep a pet pig or a commercial herd of pigs you will first need to obtain a county parish holding (CPH) number, which identifies the land where the pigs will be kept.
To apply for a CPH number you need to contact the Rural Payments Agency (RPA) customer registration helpline on 03000 200301.
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 the Animal and Plant Health Agency (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 200301 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 or if there are any changes to the details initially provided.
Reporting pig movements
The keeper at the departing farm must pre-notify AHDB Pork before any pigs are moved off. On the arrival of pigs at the farm of destination the keeper must notify ADHB Pork of their arrival within three days.
If the pigs are moved to an abattoir or market they will confirm the move and receipt of the pigs.
There are occasions where you may not need to pre-notify a movement (such as taking pigs to a market). However, this applies only in specific circumstances so you need to check with the market / AHDB Pork bureau service before you move any of your animals.
Electronic eAML2 licences
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 website or by ringing the helpline on 0844 335 8400.
More information for pig keepers is available on the GOV.UK website and further advice on the eAML2 system can be found on the eAML2 website.
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. The movement cannot take place until this document is received, so consider this when planning your moves.
Please also see 'Transporting livestock by road: paperwork' for further documentation requirements and 'The welfare of animals during transport' for welfare requirements.
Movement of pigs to slaughter
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 that documents the following information each time a pig is moved on to or off a holding:
A template movement record is attached.
Details of movements must be recorded within 36 hours of them taking place and the record must be retained for three years.
A yearly count of pigs must take place; the maximum number normally on the holding must be recorded together with the actual amount.
Identification of pigs
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, a show or for use in export.
Management information may be added to the ear tag or tattoo, provided it is distinguishable from the official mark.
Ear tags must be:
Movements to exhibitions, shows and for 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:
If the destination premises is known, movements both to and from the show ground must be notified to BPEX before initiating the journey. If the destination premises after the show is unknown then the movement must be reported to the bureau service within three days.
Full identification for the pig moved must be recorded as part of the animal movement record.
Movements to market
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 does not have this mark it may only be returned home.
Pigs must be identified with an ear tag or ear tattoo consisting of the letters 'UK' followed by the herd mark of the departure holding and a unique individual identification number.
Pigs moving to the EU or Northern Ireland must be identifed with an ear tag or tattoo consisting of the letters 'UK-GB' followed by the herd mark of the departure holding and a unique individual identification number.
Exports must be reported to the bureau service within three days of the animal leaving the holding.
Full identification for the pig moved must be recorded as part of the animal movement record.
Any pigs imported to the United Kingdom from outside the EU must have an ear tag or tattoo applied within 30 days of arrival containing the letters 'UK', the herd mark of the destination premises and the letter 'F'. Pigs moved direct to a licenced slaughterhouse and slaughtered within 30 days of arrival are exempt from this requirement.
Ear tags bearing the letters 'UK' can be used when moving pigs from Northern Ireland to Great Britain.
Swill or catering waste must not be fed to any pig, and the same applies to food waste from domestic kitchens.
Catering waste is defined in 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, including meat, vegetable peelings, old sandwiches or animal by-products.
More information on controls related to animal feed can be found on the GOV.UK website.
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 can be obtained from the GOV.UK website.
Pigs must not be moved from any premises if any:
Sheep, goats or cattle must not be moved off a premises if any sheep, goats, cattle or pigs have been moved on to that premises during the previous six days.
A single premises includes those in the same sole-occupancy group or temporary land association (TLAs).
EXEMPTIONS FROM THE 'STANDSTILL' PERIOD
Movements permitted during the 'standstill' period include:
Pig movements that do not trigger a standstill period include:
When movements are for breeding purposes, 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:
Where pigs are moved to holdings that are within a ten mile radius of the main point of business and share the same holding number, there are no movement reporting or recording requirements and therefore no standstill requirements.
All pigs are farmed animals in the eyes of the law, so even if they are being kept as pets the requirements are the same as if they were part of a farmed herd. There are also extra requirements for pet pig owners, such as a walking licence if you want to walk the animal off your premises. For more information see 'Keeping pet pigs'.
Defra has produced a Code of Practice for the Welfare of Pigs.
Guidance on identifying pigs before moving them is available on GOV.UK
Guidance on importing or exporting live animals or animal products is available on GOV.UK
For more information on the work of trading standards services - and the possible consequences of not abiding by the law - please see 'Trading standards: powers, enforcement and penalties'.
Last reviewed / updated: March 2021
In this update
No major changes
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.
© 2021 itsa Ltd.
The county council is not responsible for this information.