British Standards Relevant to Agriculture

British Standard Summaries

BS5502: Part 30: 1992
Building and Structures for Agriculture.
Code of Practice for Control of Infestation

The text herein is not a a full reproduction of the British Standard. It is summary based upon interpretation of the original text and not intended as a replacement for the full text. It should be used for general guidance only.

BS5502 is sub-divided into a number of individual standards. These can be broadly broken down as follows:

  • Part 0: Introduction
  • Parts 10 - 19: Reference information
  • Parts 20 - 39: General designs
  • Parts 40 - 59: Livestock buildings
  • Parts 60 - 79: Crop buildings
  • Parts 80 - 99: Ancillary buildings

BS5502 Part 30 provides recommendations for precautions required to protect agricultural buildings from infestations and damage by pests such as rodents, insects and birds. You will need to consult other parts of BS5502 and other Standards to obtain the recommendations for site preparation (BS5930) and design and construction of foundations (BS8110-1 & BS8004).


  • Pest entry into buildings should be prevented and internal structures including machinery should be designed to deny pest access and shelter where ever and when ever possible
  • Consideration should be given to pest species which could damage buildings (by eating, gnawing or fouling) and to those that could introduce a health problem or otherwise cause distress to occupants
  • Legislation requires certain buildings to be maintained pest free.
  • Legislation gives certain species of pests protected status meaning that their control requires a special licence.
  • Damage may be prevented or minimised by various means including physical  (such as barriers, traps, building design) and chemical means.

Potential damage

  • Birds can be a general nuisance and may introduce a range of pathogens including salmonella, typhus, Escherichia and various viruses and parasites. Contaminated bird droppings can be a major health hazard in grain and food stores. It can also be a problem in livestock units. Birds can cause direct damage through pecking nd eating consumables.
  • Rodents cause most building damage by gnawing. This can result in floods, fires, equipment failure, and power failure. Rodents will also eat and foul stored products and can introduce a number of diseases including leptospirosis (Weils Disease).
  • Insects can cause loss of quality in stored cereals. Timber pests can cause structural damage to buildings. Insects can also carry pathogens such as Salmonella and Gumboro virus.  Flies can carry worm eggs from farm ro farm and transfer parasitic infections to livestock.
  • Mammals such as foxes and mink can attack poultry and pig units. Badgers may spread bovine tuberculosis and predatory birds and mammals can cause stock loses at fish farms.  Squirrels can damage wiring and plumbing in agricultural buildings.

Design considerations

  • The following factors may influence the risk and levels of infestations: soil type, dampness, water table level, and proximity of hedges and earth banks.
  • Pest levels should be assessed, monitored and controlled in both permanent and temporary buildings on construction sites.
  • Care should be taken in the choice of materials used for construction.
  • Protective claddings and physical barriers can help to significantly reduce the risk of infestation.

Rodent and bird infestations

  • Pipes and ducts should have opening sealed against rodent entry.
  • Manhole coveres should be kept in place unless works are ongoing.
  • Grids and airbricks should have wire mesh covers.
  • Rodent entry can be reduced by fitting proofing measures such as:
    • kicking plates along the bottom of doors
    • guards on drainpipes and ducting
  • Ensure foundations are deep enough to prevent rodents access via burrowing.
  • Applying gloss paint in bands on vertical structures will help hinder climbing.
  • Cables should be routed where they are not readily accessible to rodents.

Insect infestations

  • The location of livestock units in wet areas may increase the risk of flies especially if the construction does not have an impervious sites.
  • Internal surfaces of grain and food stores should be smooth as possible and throughly cleaned between crops.
  • In poultry units there is a risk of beetles migrating from manure into the building. Physical barriers can be used to minimise risk such as incorporating metal strips and panels into walls and supports.
  • The risk of serious red spider mite infestations in poultry units depends on the presence of refuge places such as cracks and crevices in walls. Such places should be sealed or levelled off.

A British Standard nor this summary does not, necessarily, include all the necessary information for correct implementation of the Standard to any specific application. This is purely the responsibility of the user. Standards are updated by either amendment or revision. Users should ensure that they are using the latest version.

The full text of this Standard can be obtained from the British Standard Institution

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