Skip to main content


The aim of these requirements is to reduce the risk of pig disease spreading, by controlling movements and improving traceability. They apply to you if you keep pigs, even if kept as pets.

Main requirements


Details of pig-keepers and premises should be registered with the local Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA) office, within one month of establishing a pig business or starting to keep pigs. Any changes should be notified within one month of the change, including informing them if you stop/cease keeping pigs.


Pigs must be identified before they leave the holding in one of the following ways:

  • pigs aged up to 1 year old moving between holdings must either bear an approved ‘UK’eartag, or a tattoo (ear or shoulder slap-mark) with or without the letters ‘UK’, or a temporary paint/slap mark sufficient to last the duration of the movement. The temporary mark does not apply if moving to market, slaughterhouse, show or intra-community trade
  • pigs of 1 year or older moving to/from market or slaughterhouse must bear an approved ‘UK’eartag, or a tattoo (ear or shoulder slap-mark) with or without the letters ‘UK’
  • pigs intended for export will need an eartag with the ‘UK’ prefix, herdmark, animal number along with the ‘GB’ suffix, OR a tattoo bearing the ‘UK’ prefix, herdmark, animal number and ‘GB’ suffix

It will be considered a breach if:

  • individual identification marks on a pig are altered, removed or replaced without appropriate authority
  • requests from an authority to replace identification within a given time period are ignored


The following on-farm records are required:

  • name and address of the person maintaining the record
  • up-to-date on-farm records for each pig holding must be kept, and maintained for at least 3 years after you stop keeping pigs
  • pig movements on/off the farm must be fully recorded within 36 hours of movement. This should include the date, number of pigs, premises moved from/to, identification marks and lot numbers (for market purchases)
  • record the maximum number of pigs on the holding at least once annually
  • note pig deaths and method of carcass disposal
  • records should be available to be presented to an inspector on demand
  • records can be held electronically

Movement documents

  • notify the eAML2 service (online or bureau) before pigs move from your holding. All information should be completed as required prior to the movement, including identification marks

Retain a copy of purchase movement documents for at least 6 months.

Field checks

Ensure that:

  • records are available for inspection
  • pigs can be presented in a safe manner, for a sample check of identification
  • movement documents are available

Further information

For further information please contact:

  • eAML2 Bureau Service 
  • Animal and Plant Health Agency

or see Cross compliance: useful contacts (2024) factsheet.