Animal Health & Welfare

The keeping and movement of pigs


In the guide

Pig keeping requires careful record keeping; the movement of pigs is also tightly controlled

This guidance is for Wales

Persons keeping pigs for the first time must obtain a county parish holding (CPH) number and then notify Welsh Ministers via the Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA). Pig movements must comply with the 'general licence' for the movement of pigs and must be reported.

Subject to certain exceptions, once pigs have been moved on to premises no pigs can be moved off those premises for 20 complete days (sheep, goats or cattle may be moved after six complete days). A haulier summary must accompany pigs being moved and moves must be pre-notified.

Records of the movement of pigs must be kept (in the correct format) and the pigs must be correctly identified with either an ear tag, tattoo or slapmark.

Swill and catering waste cannot be fed to any pig.

Before moving a pig to your holding

Whether you want to keep a pet pig or a commercial herd of pigs you will first require a CPH number, which identifies the land where the pigs will be kept.

To apply for a CPH number please contact your local Welsh government Rural Payments Office on 0300 062 5004.

Notification of holdings

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 Welsh Ministers (via APHA) of their name and address, and the address of the holding. This has to be done within one month. APHA should be contacted on 0300 303 8268 or They will provide you with your herd number at this stage.

You must also notify APHA, within one month, if you stop keeping pigs. 

Reporting pig movements

The movement of a pig on to or off your premises must be reported. Pig movements can be reported either online using the free eAML2 system, or via the telephone / in writing using a bureau service provided by AHDB Pork.

Electronic eAML2 licences

The eAML2 is the electronic version of the pig movement licence form (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 electronically (online) or via the bureau system.

You can register online free at the eAML2 website or by ringing the helpline on 0844 335 8400.

How the system works

You are required to pre-notify the movement of your pigs prior to the journey commencing. Once the journey has been completed, the destination abattoir / farm / market will confirm the movement and receipt of the pigs.

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 movement via the bureau service a haulier summary will be sent to you in the post and the movement cannot take place until this document is received (so please consider this when planning any movements).

There are occasions where you may not need to pre-notify a movement - for example, taking pigs to market if the market is willing to electronically record the movement for you, or moving pigs for emergency veterinary treatment. However, these are only in specific circumstances so please check with the market / AHDB Pork bureau service before you move any pigs.

Further advice on the eAML2 system can be found on the eAML2 website and from reading the Welsh government Pig Keepers Guidance.

Movement of pigs to slaughter

The eAML2 electronic pig licence combines the eAML2 and food chain information (FCI) paper forms that are required when moving pigs to slaughter.

Movement record

The keeper of a pig must make and maintain a record, showing the following details:

  • date of movement
  • identification mark, slapmark or temporary mark
  • number of pigs
  • the holding the pigs have been moved from
  • the holding to which the pigs are moved

A template movement record is attached.

Details of all pig movements must be recorded within 36 hours of the movement taking place and must be retained for three years.

If you have an on-farm computer and are reporting all pig movements online via eAML2, there is no requirement to keep a paper holding register on farm. The eAML2 system stores all the information that the on-farm record requires in the keeper's movement history.

Once a year the keeper must record the actual number of pigs on the holding and also the maximum number of pigs normally kept.

Feeding pigs

Swill or catering waste (waste from catering and domestic waste) cannot be fed to any pig.

Catering waste is defined in EU 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, meat, old sandwiches or animal by-products.

Identification of pigs

No person may move a pig off a holding unless it has either:

  • an ear tag, with the letters UK followed by the herd mark of the holding from which it is being moved
    ... or
  • a tattoo, showing the herd mark (with or without the letters 'UK'). A tattoo must be applied either by tattoo forceps on an ear or by a slap marker on each shoulder

Pigs less than a year old may be identified with a temporary mark (paint mark) that either by itself or by reference to the haulier summary accompanying the pig allows for the identification of the departure holding. This exception does not apply to movements to a market, slaughterhouse, export, or to a show.

Management information may be added to the ear tag or tattoo provided it is distinguishable from the official mark.

Ear tags must be:

  • easy to read during the pig's lifetime
  • made of metal or plastic or a combination of both
  • tamper resistant
  • incapable of re-use
  • heat resistant
  • designed to remain attached to the pig without harming it

Requirements for pig movements

All pigs must be correctly identified before they leave premises. The requirements are as follows.


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:

  • an eartag consisting of the letters 'UK' followed by the APHA-allocated herd mark and a unique individual identification number
    ... or
  • a tattoo consisting of the APHA-allocated herd mark followed by a unique individual identification number


A pig may only be moved from a market if it is identified with the herd mark of the holding from which it arrived. If it is not so marked it may only be returned home.


Pigs must be identified with an ear tag or tattoo consisting of the letters 'UK' followed by the herd mark of the holding and a unique individual identification number.

Note: in the case of exhibitions, shows, breeding and for export, the full identification must be recorded as part of the animal movement record.

'Standstill' rules


Under the Disease Control (Wales) 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 Welsh government website.

No pigs may be moved off premises within 20 complete days of any pigs being moved on to those premises, or any other premises in the same sole occupancy group. This means pigs are free again to move from your holding on the 21st day after the pigs arrived.

Any sheep, goats or cattle on a holding to which pigs are moved to cannot move off (with limited exceptions) until six complete days have elapsed - in other words, sheep, goats and cattle are free to move again on the seventh day after pigs were moved on to your premises.


No pigs may be moved off a premises within six complete days of any sheep, goats or cattle moving on to that premises or any other premises in the same sole occupancy group.


There is an exemption to the 20-day and six-day standstill rule for pigs moving to an abattoir, or to slaughter via a dedicated slaughter market or slaughter collection centre.

Pigs moved within a Welsh government-approved pyramid and pigs moving on to a premises from a Welsh government-approved source do not trigger a 20-day standstill at the destination premises.

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:

  • they are individually identified
  • the person to whom the pigs are sent signs a declaration stating that the pigs are for breeding and makes the declaration either online using the eAML2 system, via the telephone or in writing using the bureau service provided by AHDB Pork
  • the pigs are isolated on the breeding premises in Welsh government-approved isolation facilities. The facilities may contain resident stock, but not animals brought from outside the breeding premises
  • either they are isolated for 20 days before leaving in Welsh government-approved isolation facilities, or they have observed a 20-day standstill on the premises of origin

Pigs moving to a show are exempt from the standstill on the premises of origin provided that they are individually identified and have been kept in a Welsh government-approved isolation facility for 20 complete days before departure. They will not trigger a standstill on return provided that they are kept in a Welsh government-approved isolation facility for 20 days.

From summer 2016 keepers with multiple holdings within a ten mile radius of the main point of business will be able to merge all such holdings into one holding number; there will be no movement reporting or recording requirements and therefore no standstill requirements for such movements. If this applies to you, APHA will be contacting you directly to explain the options.


Failure to comply with the above requirements is an offence under the Animal Health Act 1981. The maximum penalty is a fine and two years' imprisonment.

Key legislation

Last reviewed / updated: October 2017

Please note

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 UK legislation can be found on each link's 'More Resources' tab; amendments to EU legislation are usually incorporated into the text.

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