Sheep: on-farm welfare

How to keep farmed sheep, and your responsibilities for their health, housing and feed.

Applies to England


Code of recommendations for the welfare of livestock: sheep

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The legislation covering on-farm welfare for sheep is:

The code of practice for the welfare of sheep provides guidance on how to comply with this legislation. It’s intended to help all those who care for sheep to practise good standards of stockmanship to safeguard sheep welfare.

You and any staff working with sheep must read, understand and have access to this code. Welfare codes are not law, but if you do not follow them they can be used as evidence in court to show breaches of legislation.

Some of the references to legislation in the codes are out of date. You should refer to the animal welfare legislation listed above and relevant wider legislation as needed.

For more information on legislation and codes of practice for other species, see farm animals: looking after their welfare.

Updates to this page

Published 8 April 2013
Last updated 15 August 2023 + show all updates
  1. Created new HTML versions of the code of recommendations for sheep and goats to exactly match the PDF versions laid in parliament. Split the sheep and goats codes into separate pages.

  2. First published.

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