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Smallholders and petkeepers

Before purchasing any farmed species you should always consider the following issues that may affect you, your animals and those living around you.

Legal requirements

Some farmed species need to be registered with the appropriate organisation and identified accordingly with the relevant legislation.

To make sure you tick all the legislative boxes please visit see our farmed species pages.

Below is a quick reference guide to the immediate requirements of keeping farmed species:

Keeping and/or breeding conditions

You need to make sure you have enough space and appropriate housing conditions to keep your animals.

The ideal accommodation for most species involves warm, dry and straw-bedded housing in cold temperatures and a shelter from the sun in hot weather.

You need to make sure that materials used for the construction of accommodation are not harmful to the animal and are designed to be thoroughly cleansed and disinfected.


All farmed animals should be fed with a diet that is appropriate to their age and species and in sufficient quantity to maintain good health.

They should also have access to clean, fresh water.

Please note: it is illegal to feed your farmed animals (including pets) with kitchen scraps. For further information on what can or cannot be fed to farm animals, please see the guidance page on the Gov.uk website.

Suitable feed can be purchased from your local agricultural merchants. You must then make sure that it is appropriately stored in a clean and dry environment, where no vermin or wild birds have access to it.

If you store more than one type of feed in the same area you should make sure it is separated so that the feeds do not mix.

If you intend to send your animals to slaughter for human consumption or if you sell or give away surplus eggs to anyone outside your immediate family you will also have to register with us under the feed hygiene regulations.


Farmed species belong to a high risk disease group.

It is essential to familiarise yourself with biosecurity best practice to control animal diseases.

Animal Nuisance

Farm animals will produce noise, odours, waste and may cause a pest infestation.

If you live in a residential area you should make sure that your animals will not become a nuisance to other residents.

Should I keep livestock?

Consider the following:

  • Is your property suitable for keeping farm animals?
  • Have you got sufficient space to house the animals and deal with waste?
  • If you rent a property do you need permission from your Housing Association or landlord?
  • Do you need permission from your local planning department for building or using any farming structures?
  • Have you discussed keeping farm animals with your neighbours to address any concerns?

Tips to prevent residential nuisance

  • Dispose of the used bedding and manure regularly. This can eliminate some of the odour.
  • Keep feed locked away. This prevents access by wild animals and pests. Disposal of unused, stale feed and feed spillage will help you protect your animals and your premises from vermin.

Environmental health

Your local authority’s Environmental Health Department will deal with any complaints about odour, noise pollution or pest infestations.

Contact them with any concerns or if you need advice and guidance on minimising the risk of nuisance:

Wendy House Project

We have organised a series of local meetings for all interested in keeping farmed species, called the Wendy House Project.

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