Worried about a farm animal?

Who to contact if you're concerned about the welfare of a farm animal you've seen.

Transport, slaughter and non-welfare issues


If you're concerned about the way in which farm animals are being transported, or treated at a livestock market, then please contact your local authority or Trading Standards.


If the concern is about farm animals at a slaughter plant or the illegal killing of farm animals outside of a slaughter plant, then please contact the Food Standards Agency (FSA), the police or local authorities.

Non-welfare issues

If you have a farm animal enquiry that is not an animal welfare issue, e.g. it concerns carcass disposal, or in the event of suspected notifiable disease, then please contact the Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA).


If you think a crime has taken place e.g. sheep worrying, livestock theft, fox hunting - you should report it to the police online or by calling 101 if it's a non-emergency. Gather as much information as you can before making your report:

  • Name of the farm if you know it and ideally the exact location (you can use the app what3words to get this)
  • The date and time of the incident
  • Details of the incident, the animals involved with photos or video if possible
  • Names of individuals involved if known.

When to contact us

Sick or injured

If you see a farm animal on a farm that you think is ill or injured and isn't receiving the proper medical care, or you believe they are in danger or distress then please contact us as soon as possible. Alternatively, you can report this to the Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA).

If the farm is a member of the RSPCA Assured certification scheme, you can:

Please do so as quickly as possible so this can be investigated.

Farm animals in cold weather

Some farm animals such as the hardier sheep and cattle breeds are able to cope with cold or wet conditions and don't need our assistance.

You should contact us about:

  • farm animals with no access to a well-drained lying area
  • farm animals with no access to any form of shelter, such as a natural hedge
  • sheep that have just been shorn being kept outside during winter weather.

Farm animals in hot weather

Please get in touch if you see animals in hot weather which:

  • do not have access to clean water
  • do not have access to shade
  • appear to be suffering from heat stress.

Farm animals as entertainment

You should contact us about the use of farm animals for entertainment in a way that may unnecessarily compromise their welfare. For example, the racing or riding of farm animals, such as pigs and sheep.

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