British Standards Relevant to Agriculture

British Standard Summaries

BS5502: Part 40: 1990
Building and Structures for Agriculture
Code of Practice for design & construction of Cattle Buildings

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

This Standard aims to give recommendations for the design and construction of buildings to be used for cattle. For full details see BSI standard. The following text outlines the salient points:


  • Consider carefully the requirements given in the Code of recommendations for the welfare of cattle.
  • All buildings must be designed to avoid discomfort, distress or injury to cattle.
  • They must be free from projections, edges or perforations that could cause damage to them.
  • Lying areas must always be kept dry and dunging areas must be drained.
  • Good floor design is very important. It should be kept dry and dunging areas in particular should be drained effectively. Fully slatted, perforated or mesh floors should not be used. A solid floor area with suitable bedding should be used.

The building

  • Floors must meet specific guidelines for design, cleaning, disinfecting and meet imposed loadings.
  • Materials used must be resistant to vermin, humid conditions, damage by cleaning and disinfection, or fumigation.
  • Walls may not require a damp-proof course. They must however, be capable of being cleaned and disinfected regularly.
  • Cladding above draught-proof wall should be adequate enough to exclude worst effects of weather.
  • Ventilation must meet specific guidelines given in the full standard and within BS5502:52.
  • Alarm systems must be linked to the ventilation system and temperature control.
  • Hazardous gases from wastes must be controlled.
  • Natural lighting should be provided where ever possible. Supplementary artificial lighting where appropriate should be used to meet recommended lighting levels given in the full standard.
  • Attention should be paid to fire risks. Install alarm systems.
  • Dimensions of the building and space allowances should be determined by the needs of the stock and the persons and machines needed to care for them. Minimum requirements are specified in the full standard.
  • Feeding space should be related to the age of the stock, method of feeding and competition for food.  Minimum requirements are specified in the full standard.
  • Water should be available at all times.


  • Electricity, water and drainage should be installed to meet specific standards as defined by BS5502:25.
  • Secure storage for any chemicals (e.g. footbath preparations) should be provided.
  • Fire precautions, safety signs and notices should be in accordance with specific guidelines.
  • The arrangements for drainage will be determined by the lying arrangements and means of managing livestock wastes such as FYM and urine. Dry beds should be available at all times.
  • Safety notices should be in accordance with BS5502:20 & BS5502:81 as applicable.

Ancillary facilities

  • Minimum areas for calving pens and yards are given in the full standard.
  • Isolation pens should be provided to enable the segregation of sick or suspect animals.
  • Facilities for handling cattle for veterinary investigation and treatment.
  • Specification for bull pens is provided in the full standard.

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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