Worried about a farm animal?
Here's who to contact if you're worried about the welfare of a farm animal you've seen.
If you think a crime has taken place - e.g. sheep worrying, livestock theft or fox hunting - you should report it to the police online or by calling 101 if it's not an emergency.
Gather as much information as you can before making your report, including:
- Name of the farm, if you know it, and ideally the exact location (you can use the what3words app to get this)
- The date and time of the incident
- Details of the incident and the animals involved, with photos or video if possible
- The names of the individuals involved, if you know them
Transport, slaughter and non-welfare issues
If you're worried about farm animals at a slaughter plant, or about the illegal killing of farm animals outside a slaughter plant, please contact the Food Standards Agency (FSA), the police or local authorities.
If you have a farm animal enquiry and it's not an animal welfare issue - for example carcass disposal or a suspected notifiable disease - please contact the Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA).
When to contact the RSPCA
When the animal is sick or injured
If you see an animal on a farm that you think is ill or injured and isn't receiving the proper medical care, or you believe they're in danger or distress, 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 call on 01403 286 170 or email directly. Please do this as quickly as possible so we can investigate.
When transport might cause suffering or injury
If you think animals are being transported in a way that might cause suffering or injury, including harsh braking or turning, please contact us.
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 help.
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 that:
- Don't have access to clean water
- Don't have access to shade
- Appear to be suffering from heat stress
Farm animals as entertainment
Please contact us if you see farm animals being used for entertainment in a way that may unnecessarily impact their welfare, such as the racing or riding of farm animals like pigs and sheep.