Smallholders or Farm Animals kept as Pets

Much of the advice on biosecurity or disease avoidance for keepers of farm animals will apply, wholly or in part, even where they are kept as pets.

  • It is worth remembering that if these animals contract some major notifiable diseases, including those which can transfer to people, they will be managed as their farmed counterparts would be managed, for example bovine tuberculosis in domestic pets and bird ‘flu, Biosecurity and preventing welfare impacts in poultry and captive birds.
  • You are considered to be a pig keeper if you keep a pig or ‘micropig’, even as a pet. ‘Micropigs’ are pigs bred to be small so they can be more easily kept as pets. You must follow the same regulations as pig farmers, particularly identifying and registering your pig(s). Defra provides advice, including biosecurity advice, Keeping a pet pig or micro-pig.
  • RSPCA provide guidance, Farm animals as pets, including care, diet, environment and the law for goats, pigs, chickens, ducks and geese.
  • The Poultry Hub provides guidance and information on keeping of all types of poultry, including back-yard flocks.