Identification & Registration
Whether you keep one 'farm' animal as a pet or
a commercial herd/flock you need to be registered with Defra.
If you already keep sheep, goats or pigs and have not registered
you must do so immediately.
Before moving livestock to your holding you
need a County Parish Holding (CPH) number for the land where the
livestock will be kept. The CPH is a nine digit number; the
first 2 digits relate to the county, the next 3 relate to the
parish and the last 4 digits are a unique number to the keeper,
e.g. 12/345/6789. To apply for a CPH you need to contact the Rural
Payments Agency (RPA) on 0845 6037777. Once you have your CPH
you can move the livestock to your holding under a General
The next step is to register your livestock
with Defra. You need to contact your Local Animal Health
Divisional Office (AHDO).
You will be asked for your CPH as a reference
and will be able to register your livestock over the phone.
If your correspondence address is different from the herd/flock
location, inform the AHDO and confirm they have the correct
When your livestock are registered, a
flock/herd mark will automatically be created. Herdmarks for
pigs are one or two letters followed by four digits, e.g. AB1234 or
A1234. Flock/herd marks for sheep and goats are six digits,
e.g. 123456. The Defra herdmark provides a quick and
effective means of identifying premises from which livestock have
moved. It is unique, kept on a single database and available to
inspectors for rapid tracing. The AHDO will send you a
registration document which will contain your personal details, CPH
and flock/herd mark.
If any of your details change, you must tell your AHDO within
one month of the change.