Animal health and welfare

Disease control

Animal welfare enquiry

All people keeping cattle, sheep, goats and pigs, even if they are just as pets, are required to be registered within 30 days with the Scottish Government Rural Payments and Inspections Directorate (SGRPID). Changes in details must also be reported.

There is also a legal requirement for all commercial poultry keepers with 50 or more birds to register their premises. The voluntary registration of premises with less than 50 birds is welcomed.

For further information on how to register, please see the Great Britain poultry register.

In the event of a disease outbreak, the precise location of all livestock is essential for effective measures to be introduced to control and eradicate highly contagious diseases.

The threat of disease outbreak means it is imperative that up to date records of animal movements are maintained by auctioneers, hauliers, farmers and crofters and others who keep livestock. These are designed to help with the tracing of animal and vehicle movements in the event of disease outbreaks. Routine checks are carried out to make sure this is the case.

Read our guidance on Contingency planning for livestock diseases

Rabies controls

Illegal imports are a possible route through which diseases, not endemic in this country, could be introduced and spread both to humans and animals, for example rabies. Due to the vast coastline of our area, we rely on observant police officers and members of the public to inform us of any suspected illegal landing of animals.

The Pet Travel Scheme (PETS) allows dog, cat and ferret owners to bring their pets into Britain through designated entry points from certain qualifying countries without entering quarantine. This is providing they comply with certain regulations, for example, vaccinated, correct documentation, treated against specific parasites.

Read our guidance on Rabies

Sheep scab

Sheep scab is a notifiable and contagious skin disease caused by a parasitic mite that can cause a severe reaction and distress to sheep. This can result in loss of condition, loss of fleece and if it is left untreated can cause death. Lice, mycotic dermatitis and other diseases can give similar symptoms so it is important to get a correct veterinary diagnosis by your own vet or SAC and treat accordingly.

The Sheep Scab (Scotland) Order 2010 requires the keeper of any sheep suspected or affected with sheep scab to report it to the Animal and Plant Health Agency (Phone 01463 728800).

Read our guidance on Sheep scab

Scottish Government sheep scab guidance