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6. Cattle passports

All cattle must be identified and registered with BCMS within 27 days of birth (or 7 days for bisons).  

All cattle registered on the Cattle Tracing System (CTS) will be issued with a passport or a notice of registration (CPP35) document.

You can apply for cattle passports by reporting methods listed in Section Three.

To apply for a passport, you will need to have the following information:

  • ear tag number;
  • sex of the animal
  • ear tag number of the birth dam (i.e. the cow that gave birth to the calf)
  • ear tag number the genetic dam (i.e. for surrogate calves only)
  • date of birth
  • breed
  • sire’s ear tag number (if known)

When you receive your cattle passport, it’s your responsibility to:

  • check the details are correct.
  • attach the bar code label to the section marked ‘to be completed by the keeper on receipt of passport’
  • sign the same section
  • keep the passport safely

If you find something wrong, you should return the passport immediately to BCMS. Give details of the errors by either writing the changes clearly on the passport or including a covering letter with the passport explaining the changes to be made.

You cannot move the animal until you’ve received a corrected passport.

If BCMS have issued the passport and you haven’t received it, they will carry out checks. They may send a replacement free of charge if you have informed them within six weeks of the date the passport was produced. If you do not inform BCMS within six weeks, you will have to pay a fee of £20 per animal when applying for the replacement passport.

Notice of registration (CPP35)

BCMS will not issue a passport if the animal has not been registered within the 27 days. Instead, you will be issued a notice of registration (CPP35) that registers your calf on the Cattle Tracing System (CTS). This will mean the animal must remain on your holding for its lifetime.  The animal cannot enter the food chain.

Notice of registrations (CPP35) may also be issued for untagged or incorrectly tagged animal(s) found on your holding. This means the animal(s) are unidentifiable and untraceable.

DNA testing

BCMS will accept a DNA test as proof of the dam-calf link as a way to obtain a passport for late applications. To apply for a DNA test, please contact BCMS and give the ear tag numbers of both the dam and the calf. You can ask for a DNA test if your written appeal is unsuccessful, or you can choose to DNA test instead of submitting an appeal.