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Farm animals

Worried about a farm animal

If you see a farm animal that you think is ill, injured, in danger, in distress or which is being mistreated or neglected, please contact us as soon as possible.

Find out what to do if you are worried about a farm animal you’ve seen. 

Notifiable diseases (including avian influenza/bird flu)

In the event of an outbreak of a notifiable disease in the UK, please refer to the Defra website for the most up-to-date information and advice.

January 2017: Avian influenza (bird flu) has been confirmed in the UK. For the latest information and advice, please visit the Defra webpage on Avian influenza.

Our work to improve farm animal welfare

We’re working hard to try to improve the welfare of as many farm animals as possible, at every stage of their lives. 

More than 900 million farm animals are reared every year in the UK, as well as many millions of fish. Unfortunately the law alone is not always strong or detailed enough to ensure that they all have a good quality of life, and are transported and slaughtered humanely.

Responsibility for farm animal welfare does not just lie with the farmers and stock-keepers that look after them. Governments, food retailers and you, the consumer, all have a lot of power to help raise welfare standards, and ensure all farm animals can lead lives worth living.

It is a huge challenge to try to improve the welfare of such a large number of animals. We work in a number of different ways to encourage improvements, and we always use all available scientific information and practical evidence to help inform development of our policies and activities.

You can learn more about the different farm animals and farming industries, some of the key farm animal welfare issues, what we are doing about them, and how you can help on these pages.

Watch our animation to find out about some of the welfare issues for pigs, meat chickens and laying hens and how you can help.

Large scale farming

Large scale farming is a hot topic. Find out more in our paper Large scale farming (PDF 112 KB).

Farm animal species as pets

The pages in this section are regarding farmed animals. If you are interested in information on the keeping of farm animal species as pets, then take a look at our farm animals as pets pages.

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