There are a total of 39,747,916 cattle recorded on the cattle tracing system (CTS).
Farmers must keep accurate records and tell DEFRA of all cattle movements. If animals are lost or stolen, the keeper must report this to the British Cattle Movement Service (BCMS) who record details on the CTS. Of those cattle born after 1996, 65,722 (0.17 per cent. of the total) have been reported to CTS as lost or not traced, either by the keeper, or following a farm inspection, for reasons including alleged theft.
21,276 cattle born after 1996 have not yet had their final destination reported to CTS. In these cases, the animals’ movement off their last location has been reported but the new keeper has yet to notify CTS.
Such movement anomalies are routinely followed up by BCMS who contact the previously known keeper with a view to establishing the whereabouts of the cattle.