Identification, registration and movement of cattle

This page contains information on Identification, registration and movement (IRM) of cattle in Northern Ireland. The Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs (DAERA) maintains records of cattle births, deaths and movements.


The European Union (EU) requirements provide that all cattle keepers must notify the Department of the births, death (including stillbirths) and movement of cattle, animals must be double tagged and a herd register must be kept to record this information. Details of these requirements are set out in Council Regulation (EC) No. 1760/2000.

The Department is required to apply sanctions to animals and/or herds that do not comply with the Regulations. The purpose of these sanctions is to ensure that cattle and cattle products destined for human consumption are safe. Additionally the Regulations protect farmers and others buying cattle of unknown origin. In this way the marketability of cattle is enhanced and the confidence of consumers in the safety of beef is increased.

Detailed guidance to assist keepers adhere to the rules on cattle IRM has been developed and can be accessed via the links below.

Guidance and further information

More useful links

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