Kilimo Talk – Livestock registration in Netherlands

Dairy Cattle. Photo by Kilimo News

If you keep animals (livestock) in the Netherlands, you must comply with the regulations regarding identification and registration (I&R) of the animals. You are not allowed to keep, buy, sell, transport or move animals without registration.

Unique Business Number (UBN) registration

It is compulsory to register where you keep your domestic farm animals, even if you merely keep these animals as a hobby. You must register with the Netherlands Enterprise Agency (Rijkdienst voor Ondernemend Nederland, if you keep:

  • Cattle
  • Sheep
  • Goats
  • Pigs
  • Pets (shelter or breeding, in Dutch)
  • Rabbits (commercial use)
  • Poultry (commercial, over 250 animals)
  • Hatching eggs (commercial use)

You will be assigned a unique business number (UBN) for the location where the animals are kept. The Netherlands Enterprise Agency passes your details on to the GD Animal Health. The GD Animal Health will send you a form for additional details. Your UBN becomes active only after GD has processed these details.


You must tag your animals with legally prescribed identification tags. You must also keep on-farm records of all animals that are on your holding.


You must report any changes with regard to:

  • births and deaths
  • movement of stock
  • imports and exports


For each bovine animal you plan to export, you require a cattle passport. This also applies to horses and pigs.

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