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The law concerning keeping goats as pets

There are strict laws covering the keeping, identification and transport of farm animal species, including those kept as pets.


Under the Animal Welfare Act (2006) anyone responsible for an animal has a legal responsibility to meet the five basic welfare needs of pets. These are:

  • a proper diet
  • somewhere suitable to live
  • any need to be housed with or apart from other animals
  • being allowed to express normal behaviour
  • protection from and treatment of, illness and injury.


Because goats are a farm animal species, all goat owners must comply with extra laws. For example, there are laws on:

  • the way goats must be identified
  • the registration of the land on which they are kept
  • transport
  • the keeping of medicine records.


Contact the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) for details on the law concerning the keeping of goats.


For more information on keeping goats download our booklet: An introduction to goat welfare and ownership (PDF 1.1MB).