Documentation for Pet Pigs

There is more legal documentation involved in keeping pigs as pets than there is for cats or dogs. Even though we consider our pet pigs just as much a part of the family as any other four-legged member, to the government all pigs are considered livestock and must be legally registered as such. This is required in order to prevent, identify and deal with outbreaks of disease which may affect the farming industry. Unfortunately, all pigs are at risk of contagious disease. This strict documentation aims to reduce the spread of infections or, in some rare cases, prevent transmission to humans or other animals. You can be fined if you do not have the correct documentation in order.

The process, whilst not particularly complicated, can take some time to complete. We suggest making sure everything is in order before you get your pigs. Although you do have a 30 day grace period to register for a herd mark after pigs arrive on your land, we only recommend registering them post-arrival in emergency situations.

County Parish Holding Number

Any land on which pigs live is required by law to have a CPH number. This is true whether you have a couple of small pigs living in a large field or an entire herd living across acres of land.

To begin the process or for further guidance please visit the following website:

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/register-land-you-use-to-keep-livestock

A CPH number is legally required documentation for pet pigs
Any land that pigs live on must be registered

Herd mark

Once you have your CPH number you need to register with the APHA (Animal and Plant Health Agency) who will issue you a herd mark. A herd mark is a series of letters and/or numbers used to identify all the animals of a particular species which are under a certain person’s care. Even if you already have a herd mark for one species, you must contact the APHA to register a another species.

Further details can be found here:

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/register-livestock-to-get-a-flock-or-herd-mark

Please note specific requirements and applications processes may vary between England, Scotland and Wales. Make sure you refer to the correct guidance and forms for your area.

More general government guidance on keeping pet pigs can be found here:

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/keeping-a-pet-pig-or-micropig

A herd mark is legally required documentation for pet pigs
The movement of pigs requires documentation

Moving a pet pig to a new home

To move a pig to a new home, either temporarily or permanently, you need to apply for a General Movement Licence. It is usually the duty of the person who currently owns the pig to organise the movement licence. To do so you will need the CPH number, herd mark and address of the pig’s current and future home. You can find further information here:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/pig-movement-general-licence-for-the-movement-of-pigs

The easiest way to organise a movement licence or register new pigs to your care is on this website:

https://www.eaml2.org.uk/

Taking your pet pig for a walk

If you wish to take your pig for a walk off the land which has been designated a CPH number, you must apply for walking licence. You will need to contact the APHA with your proposed walking route to apply. If you are granted a licence you may walk only the specified route and you must have the licence on your person. A walking licence must be renewed yearly.

Extreme caution must be taken if you will potentially meet any dogs who may be unfamiliar with pigs. dogs have been known to attack pigs as they are naturally a predator species and pigs are prey animals to them.

You can find more information here:

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/keeping-a-pet-pig-or-micropig#get-a-licence-to-walk-a-pet-pig

When pet pigs die

Sadly, pet pigs are treated the same way as fallen livestock and are subject to the same rules as farmed pigs in the UK. You cannot bury your pet pig on your own land. You must use an approved transporter who will take your pig to an approved disposal facility. More details are available here:

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/fallen-stock