Keeping a pet pig or 'micropig'
Find out how to register your land and animals, how to get a walking licence and what you can feed pet pigs.
You’re considered to be a pig keeper if you keep a pig or ‘micropig’ as a pet. You have to follow the same regulations as pig farmers.
‘Micropigs’ are pigs bred to be small so they can be more easily kept as pets.
Register as pig keeper
You can’t keep a pet pig at your home until you get a county parish holding (CPH) number from the Rural Payments Agency (RPA).
You must also tell the Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA) that you’re keeping pigs, within 30 days of your first pet pig arriving on your land.
APHA will give you a herd mark. Herd marks are 1 or 2 letters followed by 4 digits, such as A1234 or XY9876.
You’ll need this to identify your pig or micropig if you move it from your holding (apart from for walks).
Get a licence to walk a pet pig
You need to get a licence from your APHA to walk your pig outside your home or premises.
APHA may not approve your walking route if it poses a health risk, for example if it passes close to a:
- livestock market
- pig farm
- fast food restaurant
You must have your licence with you whenever you’re walking your pig, and you’ll need to renew it every year.
Moving pigs away from your home or premises
You must tag, tattoo or mark your pig with identification details if you plan to move it away from your home or premises (for example, for a walk under licence or to a market, pig farm or abattoir).
You must also report and record any movement of your pig.
You don’t have to report and record the movement if you’re only taking it for a walk under the terms of your licence.
What you can feed pigs
You can’t feed pigs catering waste from any domestic or commercial kitchen, including kitchens that only cater for vegetarians. Catering waste includes used cooking oil.
You generally can’t feed pigs material of animal origin or products containing material of animal origin. However, you can feed pigs:
- liquid milk or colostrum produced on the same holding the pigs are kept on
- former foodstuffs that contain rennet, melted fat, milk or eggs, as long as these materials aren’t the main ingredient
- milk, milk products and white water (water used to clean dairy equipment) in some cases (find out when you can feed milk and milk products to farmed animals)
- fishmeal, di-or tri-calcium phosphate, or blood products in some cases (find out these have to be processed before they can be fed to farmed animals)
You can get pig food from a premises that handles material that can’t be fed to pigs, but only if both of the following apply:
- the premises has a procedure keep material that can be fed to pigs separate from material that can’t be fed to pigs
- the procedure has been agreed with a local authority
Contact the Animal and Plant Health Agency if you’re still unsure whether you can feed something to your pig,