How to maintain your Herd Register on APHIS

Date published: 28 July 2016

DAERA offers cattle farmers the option of maintaining their herd register on APHIS instead of using an on-farm electronic or paper herd book. The user must comply with certain conditions and these have been set out in detail below.

Detailed guidance is on the DAERA website which sets out the conditions for taking advantage of this new facility. A list of commonly asked questions is also available via this link.

The main conditions are:

  1. Access — you need to have access to APHIS Online.
  2. Accuracy — you must take responsibility for the accuracy of your herd information recorded on APHIS.
  3. Electronically — you must record all of your births, deaths and movements electronically, using APHIS Online, rather than sending notification documents to DAERA.
  4. Timing — you must record births within 23 days; your intention to move animals off your farm on the day of movement, and all other events within 3 days of each event.

Maintaining a Herd Register

Although keeping a herd register (either paper herd book, electronic herd book or APHIS Online) and retaining a record for 10 years are legal requirements, choosing to maintain your herd register on APHIS is entirely voluntary. Farmers can use APHIS Online to access their herd information and record births, deaths and movements and at the same time continue to use an on-farm electronic or paper herd register.

At inspection

Herd register checks are included as part of Cross-Compliance inspections and will be examined if your business is selected for inspection.

At the beginning of the inspection we will ask whether you are maintaining your herd register on APHIS. If you are, you will be asked to confirm from what date you started to do so. We may also examine your previous on-farm paper/electronic herd register for the period before you started maintaining your herd register on APHIS.

If you start to maintain your herd register on APHIS, but then change your mind, you may revert to the paper/electronic register option. However, if you do this you will have to open a new register and record in it the details of all animals in your herd at that date and all the details of events (births, deaths and movements) occurring after that date.

To avoid financial penalties, please read the guidance carefully before you start maintaining your herd register on APHIS. Please pay particular attention to the conditions with which you must comply.

Further help:

If you have any technical issues, please refer to the online herd register guidance on the DAERA website or, alternatively, contact the DAERA Online Services Helpdesk on 028 9442 6699 (Mon–Fri 9am to 5pm) or

We have published a range of videos on the DAERA website about registering for and using APHIS Online which includes the use of AOL as the herd register.   

Notes to editors: 

  1. All media enquiries to DAERA Press Office, or tel: 028 9052 4619

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