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. 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's 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.
Notifiable diseases (including avian influenza/bird flu)
January 2018: Avian influenza/bird flu has been detected in wild birds in England. For the latest information and advice, poultry keepers in England should visit Defra's website. Poultry keepers in Wales should visit the Welsh Government website for the latest information and advice.
In the event of an outbreak of a notifiable disease in the UK, keepers in England should refer to the Defra website, and keepers in Wales should refer to the Welsh Government website for the most up-to-date information and advice.
Worried about a farm animal?
Find out what to do if you're concerned about the welfare of a farm animal that you've seen.
Could you offer a farm animal a happy home?
Have you got the space, time and commitment needed to give a farm animal a good home?