Animal Movement

6/20 Day Standstill Information

Over the next 12 months Defra will be introducing changes to simplify livestock movement rules. For many keepers, the changes to the 10-mile rule will reduce the work associated with movement reporting and standstills.

These changes will also give a better understanding of where livestock are and therefore help disease prevention and outbreak control measures. This will benefit the livestock industry as a whole.

The General Licence

All livestock movements must be carried out in accordance with the general licence issued by Defra. If you are a new keeper you must apply to Defra for a general licence. There is no fee for applying.

You need a general movement licence to move cattle, deer, goats, pigs or sheep from one holding or premises to another. You need a separate licence for each species you want to move.

A copy of the general licence for each species can be found on the links below.


Sheep and goats



Six or 20 Day Standstill

Movements of cattle, sheep and goats onto premises will trigger a six-day movement restriction (20 days in the case of the movement of a pig). The movement of a pig on a premise will trigger a 20-day standstill on any pigs, and a six-day standstill on any cattle, goats or sheep on the premises of destination.

The movement of cattle, sheep or goats onto premises will trigger a six-day standstill on cattle, sheep, goats and pigs on that premises of destination.

The movement of a deer onto premises imposes no standstill period on any animal, and the movement of any animal, including a pig, onto premises imposes no standstill on any deer on those premises.

Breeding exemptions to standstill rules

From 1 August to 30 November each year, exemptions exist to the six-day standstill for the movement of breeding rams and breeding bulls. The exemptions are explained below with links to documents you will need to use the exemptions.

Exemption 1 & 2 – moving from farm to market or market to farm

Rams or bulls can leave your farm, while under standstill rules, to go to a market provided the rams and bulls have been in a Defra-approved isolation facility for six days before the move. Also rams and bulls bought for breeding or returning unsold from a market will not put your premises on a standstill if they are put directly into a Defra-approved isolation facility, and remain there for six days. You must provide a declaration that the animal has been in Defra-approved isolation, and, for rams, supply this to the local authority, along with your movement document.

Exemption 3 – moving from market or farm to farm

A ram or a bull can be moved onto your holding from a farm or from a market, for breeding purposes, without triggering a standstill on your holding, as long as the animal is put into a Defra-approved isolation facility upon arrival on your holding and remains there for six days. For rams, a declaration certifying this is the case should be returned to the local authority, along with the movement licence. The necessary declarations can be found in Part III and IV of general licence. To make use of these exemptions, the isolation units used must be approved by Defra, via your local Animal and Plant Health Agency Office.

There are further exemptions which can be found in the general licence.