Sheep and goat inspections

Date published: 26 January, 2016

To see recent changes to this guidance, check the bottom of this page.

Why do we inspect sheep and goats?

The Scottish Government (through RPID) carries out sheep and goat identification inspections to make sure that keepers of sheep and goats are complying with animal identification and traceability, and (where applicable) voluntary coupled support scheme legislation set by the United Kingdom and European Union.

Every year, we must carry out inspections on:

  • three per cent of holdings with sheep and goats and five per cent of the Scottish sheep and goat population
  • 10 per cent of Scottish Upland Sheep Support Scheme claimants
  • five per cent of Scottish Upland Sheep Support Scheme claimed animals

The main purpose of the inspection is to check you are complying with the sheep and goat keeper requirements so that we can monitor and trace the sheep and goat population if there is a serious disease outbreak.

What our inspectors do

The inspector will compare your sheep and goat records to the information supplied to the Scottish Animal Movement Unit and ScotEID, the movement documents and purchase and sales invoices.

The inspector will count your animals to verify the accuracy of your records and check a representative sample of eartags to make sure the sheep have been tagged correctly and the identifiers are included in the records.

The five key requirements of identification and traceability legislation are:

  • your animals have been tagged and recorded correctly
  • you are registered with the Animal and Plant Health Association to keep sheep and goats
  • all records are complete and up-to-date
  • you have correctly completed and retained movement documents
  • you have notified sheep and goat movements to the Scottish Animal Movement Unit and ScotEID

Cross Compliance

Sheep and goat inspections are a part of the Cross Compliance inspections programme and designed to ensure the highest standards in Scottish agriculture

The Scottish Government is liable for fines from Europe if there is widespread failure to meet key rules.

So, if you fail any part of your inspection, you could be liable for a reduction in any subsidy payments you receive or even legal action.

If you do fail part or all of your inspection, we will refer to this as a breach and any further action will be assessed depending on how serious the breach is.

Find out more about Cross Compliance here

Scottish Upland Sheep Support Scheme

If you have applied or plan to apply for the Scottish Upland Sheep Support Scheme, then it's important that you read the full scheme guidance to understand your obligations.

Scottish Upland Sheep Support Scheme

Further information

More detailed sheep and goat identification and traceability guidance is available from the main Scottish Government website.

Sheep and goat identification and traceability guidance for keepers in Scotland

The following documents are used by RPID inspectors and offer some help and guidance on what you can expect when inspections take place:

Recent changes

Section Change Previous
text
New text
Why do we inspect sheep and goats?New section- 
What our inspectors doNew section- 
Inspection outcomesRemoved section  
Cross ComplianceNew section  
Further informationNew links and documents added Sheep and goat identification and traceability guidance for keepers in Scotland

Sheep and goats – inspection report form

Sheep and goats – inspection risk selection criteria

Scottish Upland Sheep Support Scheme – inspection report form (available soon)

Scottish Upland Sheep Support Scheme – inspection risk selection criteria
 Removed documentSheep identification inspections 

Previous versions

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