Farmers and Livestock

Bluetongue Virus

Following an outbreak of Bluetongue in England in 2023. The Animal & Plant Health Agency (APHA) confirm there is a very high probability of a new introduction of bluetongue virus serotype 3 (BTV-3) into livestock in Great Britain. This is happening through infected biting midges being blown over from northern Europe. Biting midges are most active between April and November. The timing of a potential incursion will depend on the temperature and wind patterns.  

Farmers should continue to be vigilant and frequently check their animals.

In the event of an outbreak and for animals to be located quickly, make sure your livestock and land is registered with APHA. Check your contact details are up to date. 

All land and buildings used for livestock also need to be correctly registered with APHA. Temporary Land Associations and Temporary CPHs can be registered by completing and IRA75 form: Apply for temporary use of land or buildings to keep livestock - GOV.UK

  • Suspected Bluetongue must be reported immediately. Contact APHA 03000 200 301

Farmers and Livestock

Animal Health and Welfare relates to disease control and welfare of farmed animals. We sit in the Trading Standards Service and are responsible for the enforcement of animal health and welfare legislation. Our aim is to prevent disease risks to both animal and human health. We can advise on:

  • record keeping requirements for livestock movements
  • births and deaths
  • livestock identification
  • animal transport
  • bio security
  • disposal of animal by-products (including animal carcases)
  • animal health and disease control measures.

We work closely with the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA).

DEFRA Alerts

Be aware of fraud. We will not call you, send you emails or texts asking you to confirm your personal details or payment information.

Never discuss your bank account details with someone you do not know. We will not ask you to make a payment over the phone. Delete any emails or texts you do not believe are genuine. Do not open any links unless from our main email addresses:

Be cautious about what information you share externally, particularly on social media. If you suspect an attempted fraud or feel you have been the subject of fraud, contact RPA’s Fraud Referral Team on 0800 347 347 or email You can also contact Action Fraud (the UK’s national reporting centre for fraud and cyber-crime) on 0300 123 2040.

On-farm animal welfare covers all aspects of welfare for all typical farmed species, including transport:

Code of Recommendations for sheep

 Code of Recommendations for cattle

Code of Recommendations for pigs

Biosecurity Advice

Notifiable Disease

If you suspect a notifiable livestock disease you must report it straight away to the Animal & Plant Health Agency: Contact APHA.

Further information can be found at Notifiable diseases in animals.

Defra Approved Disinfectants

Emergency Destruction & Independent Fallenstock Disposal

In a case of emergency destruction, contact your private vet or call a Licensed Slaughterman, B Isaacson on 07807 811040 (by captive bolt or free bullet).

Home Slaughter

The home slaughter of livestock for you and your immediate family’s consumption is permissible. You must not supply to anyone outside of your household. You must comply with welfare regulations.

You can find out more on:

Reporting Livestock Movements

Sheep and goats:



African Swine Fever

This is an emerging threat in Europe and could decimate the pig production business in the UK. It is illegal to feed livestock catering waste and animal by products.

See the Government advice on what to look for, and what to do if you suspect African Swine Fever:

Avian influenza (bird flu)

The UK has self-declared zonal freedom from highly pathogenic avian influenza. This will begin in Great Britain from 29 March 2024.

This is in line with World Organisation for Animal Health (WOAH) rules: 

Find out the latest information and guidance on Bird Flu (avian influenza) in England - provided by GOV.UK (

  • If you suspect a case of bird flu, report it by contacting DEFRA on 03459 335 577