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Animal health, welfare and movement

Animal health

We’re responsible for enforcing legislation relating to the movement of animals. This control helps protect Animal Health and Welfare and prevent, eradicate and control animal diseases such as foot and mouth.

It’s our job to carry out the following checks:

  • inspect farms and slaughterhouses
  • check farm records and animal movement records are accurate and up to date
  • ensure animal carcasses are disposed of promptly using approved methods

We work with the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA), the Meat Hygiene Service, the British Cattle Movement Service and other local authorities to ensure and maintain animal health and welfare in North Ayrshire.

Animal movement

Whenever cattle, sheep, goats or pigs are moved onto a farm no cattle, sheep or goats may move off for a period of 13 days.

Pigs have to remain under standstill for 6 days where cattle, sheep and goats have been moved on to a holding.

Sheep and goats

Each time sheep and goats are moved between one holding and another with a different CPH number (except for emergency veterinary treatment), their movements must be recorded on a movement document and reported to the Scottish Animal Movement Unit (SAMU).

SAMU must be notified within 3 days of the movement.

For more information please visit the Scottish Government website on Sheep and Goats.


Pig movements (except for emergency veterinary treatment) must be recorded in your holding register and in the ScotEID movement reporting database. Movements can also be reported by telephone to the ScotEID Information Centre: 01466 79423.

ScotEID must be notified before or on the day of the movement.

If you have notified ScotEID you don’t need a movement document, unless you’re moving either of the following:  

  • pigs less than 12 months old and identified with a temporary mark
  • pigs to England, Wales or Northern Ireland

Keepers are also required to record the number of pigs kept on their premises at least once a year. For more information please visit the Scottish Government website on Pigs.


Born or reared in UK before 1 August 1996

All cattle born or reared in the UK before 1 August 1996 are subject to movement restrictions as an extra precaution against meat from older cattle entering the food chain. These cattle are restricted to the premises they are currently located in.

If you wish to move cattle of this age you need to apply for a movement licence. Each animal’s Certificate of Registration should also accompany them when they move.

Movements to markets or dealers won’t be permitted.

Born or reared in UK after 1 July 1996

All cattle born or imported into the UK since 1 July 1996 must have a cattle passport.

Cattle passports include:

  • details of the animal on the front cover
  • details of where it has been throughout its life
  • movement cards you send in when the animal moves on or off a holding if the movement isn’t notified electronically
  • details of the animal’s death

This passport is their identification and movement record and must always accompany them when they move.

Cattle passports are issued shortly after birth by the British Cattle Movement Service (BCMS). Find out more from their online Cattle Tracing System. All passport applications must be made within 7 days of tagging.

BCMS can carry out on-farm inspections of records and cattle identification. For more information on these inspections and cattle identification, registration and movement, please visit the Department for Environment Food & Rural Affairs website.