The law concerning keeping pigs as pets
There are strict laws covering the keeping, identification and transport of farm animals.
Under the Animal Welfare Act (2006) anyone responsible for a pet 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.
By law, pigs require a license if being moved to other premises (except if going to a slaughterhouse), including pet pigs being moved to the vet’s surgery. They then can’t be moved again for at least 20 days.
An exception does apply for exercising pet pigs, although the owner has to apply for a licence to their local Animal Health Office Veterinary Officer and meet certain other requirements.
It is illegal to transport pet pigs in any vehicle that has not been properly constructed to carry them – this includes a car. Pigs must be transported in compliance with the Welfare of Animals (Transport) Order 2006.
Contact the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) for full details on the law concerning the keeping of pigs.
- Defra: Guidance for keepers of sheep, goats and pigs
- Defra: Guidance for keeping a pet pig or 'micropig'