Credit - DEFRACredit - DEFRA

It’s a legal requirement for all sheep keepers to update their holding registers and to complete an inventory form with the numbers of sheep owned on the date set by your department of agriculture.  

Failure to complete the inventory makes an unannounced inspection of your flock more likely.  The dates on which the inventory is due, and by which it must be completed vary accross the home nations:

In England   The inventory is due as at 1 December and you should already have received a letter or email from DEFRA.  You can complete the inventory online at,  or return it by post in the pre-paid envelope, and must do so by 31st December.   If you haven't received a letter or email, let Defra’s Farm Surveys Team know.  Telephone the Defra Farm Surveys helpline on 03000 600 140 (Monday to Friday 9am to 4.30pm).  Email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..  You can also contact this team if you need help with your inventory.

In Scotland  The dates of the inventory have yet to be confirmed (last year it was 16 December).   You should receive an email or letter to confirm this years dates and should contact the Scottish Government at 0300 244 9788 or e-mail This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. if you do not.

In Wales  The 2021 inventory was at 1 January with a 1 February deadline and it is likely that similar dates will apply in 2022.  You will be able to complete the inventory online at

In Northern Ireland  The inventory covers sheep sheep held in the period 1 - 5 December and must be completed by 30 December.  The inventory is entirely online and can be accessed via the DAERA website at and clicking on 'Animal Inventory Returns' in the Quick Links menu on the right hand side.

Isle of Man  Each year the number of sheep held on 4 May must be recorded as a separate entry in your holding register by no later than 4 June,

And one more thing …

Once you've updated your holding register and completed the inventory, please just take a moment to make sure that the your holdings are also correctly recorded in the Society online flock book.  Visit the Flock Book page on the Society website - its under 'Members'  - and click on 'Flock Book Log In'.  Enter your membership number (including those leading zeros) and your password and the flock book will open with a list of your sheep.  You can make any changes (births, deaths, transfers and castrations) by selecting the 'red ladder' icon in the top right corner.  Any queries please email Adrian on  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. - thank you for helping keep the flock book up to date.

Author: OSS

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