Animal Health & Welfare

Goats: identification, records and movement


In the guide

Rules concerning the identification of goats and the need to maintain records of their movements

This guidance is for Wales

Goats that were born or identified on or after 31 December 2009, and are not intended for slaughter under 12 months of age, must be double identified and individually recorded in your herd register. When moving these animals they should be recorded individually on your AML1 animal movement document via EIDCymru, (either in paper or electronic form) unless you are moving them between premises that are part of your county parish holding (CPH) number and within a five mile radius of your 'point of business' (usually the postal address of your main animal handling point) or you move them through a central point recording centre (CPRC).

Individually identified goats will generally be your breeding stock but may also be goats you keep for whatever reason (including as pets) beyond 12 months of age.

There are different rules for goats destined for slaughter within 12 months of birth.

Before moving goats to your holding

If you want to keep goats you will first require a CPH number, which identifies the land where they will be kept.

To apply for a CPH number you need to contact the Rural Payments Wales (RPW) customer contact centre on 0300 062 5004.

Notification of holdings

An occupier of a holding who begins to keep goats on that holding, and any person who takes over the occupation of a holding where goats 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 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 goats.

When should I identify my goats?

Kids born on your holding must be identified within the following timescales:

  • within six months of birth if the animals are housed overnight
  • within nine months of birth if the animals are not housed overnight (kept in 'extensive conditions')

Kids must be identified before they leave their holding of birth (including moves to slaughter, temporary grazing, common grazing, market, etc) whether or not the six / nine months have passed.

What can I identify my goats with?

Goats can be identified with any of the following identification devices:

  • ear tags
  • tattoos
  • pastern tags
  • boluses

Which identification device is used depends on whether the animal is intended to be kept over 12 months of age or slaughtered within 12 months of birth.

Electronic identification (EID) for goats is voluntary. However, if you intend to export goats, the animals must be full EID identified. For further details please see Rules for identifying Sheep and Goats on the Welsh government website.

Goats born or identified before 31 December 2009

Before 1 January 2001 goats did not need to be identified with a permanent mark. Between 1 January 2001 and 31 January 2003 goats were identified with a UK herd mark tag, which did not have an individual number. Since 9 July 2005 all goats have been required to be individually identified (exception for goats slaughtered before 12 months of age).

If any of these older animals have not been identified and are to be moved, you must identify them with two identification devices that have the same individual number (see below).

Goats born or identified since 31 December 2009

These animals need to be double identified with two non-electronic identification devices (if choosing not to use EID). These can be:

  • two ear tags with the same unique 12-digit animal number
  • an ear tag and a tattoo with the same unique 12-digit number (UK code and herd number on one ear, individual animal number on the other). The tattoo can go across both ears
  • an ear tag and a pastern mark with the same unique 12-digit number

In the case of animals intended for slaughter within 12 months of birth only one single slaughter tag is required with only the herd mark printed on it.

Reserved colours for tags (as stated in the Sheep and Goats (Records, Identification and Movement) (Wales) Order 2009):

  • yellow: used only for electronic tag
  • black: used only for ear tags where the goat has an EID bolus
  • red: used only for replacement tags (including replacement electronic tags)

Replacing identification

If your goat loses its identification device or it becomes impossible to read, you must replace the device within the following timescales (whichever comes soonest):

  • no later than 28 days after the tag was removed or discovered to be lost or illegible (either visually or electronically)
  • before the goat is moved from your holding

Whenever you apply replacements you must make a record of this in the replacement section of the holding register.

Replacement tags for slaughter animals:

  • apply a new slaughter tag
  • if animal is NOT on the holding of birth, the tag must be red


Any replacement ear tag or pastern tag must have the same animal identification number and must be black. If the bolus fails or cannot be read the animal should be re-identified using an ear tag or pastern tag; you should not insert a new bolus.


If the goat has a tattoo and loses its other identifier, the replacement identifier must have the same number as the tattoo. If the tattoo becomes illegible it should be replaced with a conventional ear tag.

Note: tattoos are not suitable for use for export.


Animals identified before 2010 are known as 'historic flock'. The individual tag numbers of the historic flock must be recorded on the movement document unless the move is direct to slaughter. If you have to replace an ear tag on a historic-flock animal, you may wish to consider replacing both ear tags with a new pair that include an EID. This will make it possible to gather your animals' individual identification numbers using scanning equipment and is recommended by Welsh government and industry bodies. The flock mark and individual number of the replacement tags, as well as information pertaining to the original identifier, must be recorded in the replacement section of the register.

Where do I record my animal movements & who do I report them to?

When an animal moves, its movement must be reported via EIDCymru (the electronic sheep and goat movement recording system for Wales) within three days using one of the following methods:

  • if you use a farm management package that has been updated, it will automatically report sheep and goat movements on to the EIDCymru database
  • if you have internet access, you can report moves on the EIDCymru website
  • using an EIDCymru AML1 form. Paper movements must be sent to: EIDCymru, Ty Merlin, Parc Merlin, Aberystwyth, SY23 3FF. Do not send completed forms to your local authority

When a goat is moved to or from your holding, its movement must also be recorded in the holding register within 36 hours.

The only exceptions are as follows:

  • when an animal that remains under your keepership moves to a piece of land under your sole management and control and is within five miles, as the crow flies, from your main holding
  • when the move is to adjacent common land that you have registered as linked to your holding
  • where an animal is moved to a veterinary practice

From September 2016 Rural Payments Wales (RPW) will write to all keepers who have separate CPH numbers within a ten mile radius of the 'primary production location (PPL)' - that is, the main location of livestock buildings or main animal handling facilities, which is usually the same as the correspondence address. Keepers will be able to merge their current CPH numbers under a single number and will therefore only be required to keep one register, will not need to record or report any movements within their one CPH and there will be no standstill implications for moves within the CPH. All movements between holdings not under the keeper's sole occupancy and those movements that fall outside a ten mile radius are required to be reported to EIDCymru. Until keepers are contacted by RPW, the rules relating to individual CPHs will remain unchanged. More information on these changes is available on the Welsh government website.

Recording movements in the holding register

Versions of the holding register in Excel and PDF are available on the GOV.UK website.

You must record the individual identification numbers for double-identified animals when the animal is first identified, moves to another holding or dies.

Slaughter animals are always recorded as a batch or mixed batch (you only need to record the herd marks of the animals being moved).

For animals born or identified before 31 December 2009 (historic flock) you never have to record individual identification numbers in the holding register and can continue to batch record them. However, printouts of individual numbers, relating to the historic flock, provided by a CPRC, should be cross-referenced with batch movements in your holding register (although this link appears to be for sheep only, it is relevant for goats as well).

The examples below show the different ways of recording goat movements.


This is where you record the individual identification number of each animal. It applies to double-identified animals only. For example:

Date Number of animals moved Herd mark / individual ID number CPH / location animals arrived from
01/10/2015 1 UK0123456 00001 01/001/1234
02/10/2015 5 UK0123456 00002 to 00006 01/001/1234


This is where you only record the total number of animals moved. It is used for slaughter animals, animals identified before 31 December 2009 and for moves through a CPRC that is providing you with the individual numbers. For example:

Date Number of animals moved Herd mark CPH / location animals arrived from
10/10/2015 50 UK0123456 01/001/1234


This is where animals moving in batches have different herd marks. You must record the number of animals that have the same herd mark. It applies to slaughter animals only. For example:

Date Number of animals moved Herd mark CPH / location animals arrived from
06/10/2015 35





Note: the leading zeroes in the herd marks in the above tables are only necessary for full EID-identified animals.

Recording movements in the movement document

The animal movement licence form (AML1) must be completed each time animals move to a different holding. AML1 forms can be found on the EIDCymru website or obtained by contacting EIDCymru, Ty Merlin, Parc Merlin, Aberystwyth, SY23 3FF. Telephone: 01970 636959.

Movements can be recorded and reported in the movement document in two ways: individual recording and batch recording.

The individual identification number of each goat should be recorded on your movement document (AML1) unless you are moving animals within a business or direct to slaughter.

Goats intended for slaughter before 12 months of age and goats identified prior to 31 December 2009 moving direct to slaughter can be recorded on a batch basis.

How do I record the individual numbers?

For individual recording, it is up to you to decide whether to read and record an animal's individual identification number yourself as it moves off your holding or use a central point recording centre (CPRC) to electronically read and record the numbers on EID goats on your behalf. By using a CPRC you avoid having to individually record animals as they move off the holding.

What is central point recording?

This is where animals with electronic identifiers have their individual identification numbers read and recorded on behalf of a keeper by a CPRC, such as a market or abattoir. A list of approved CPRC premises can be found on the GOV.UK website (as for the holding-register link above, although this appears to be for sheep only, it is also relevant for goats).


Failure to comply with the requirements of the Sheep and Goats (Records, Identification and Movements) (Wales) Order 2015 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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