British Standards Relevant to Agriculture

British Standard Summaries

BS5502: Part 41: 1990
Building and Structures for Agriculture.
Sheep Buildings and Pens

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 41 provides detailed recommendations for the design and construction  of buildings and pens used for the housing of sheep. Attention is drawn to the animal welfare requirements laid out in the Welfare Code of Practice.


  • Structure should be designed according to BS5502: parts 20, 21, 23 and 25.
  • General construction should not be such that it could harm the sheep or cause serious damage to fleece, for example from sharp edges or projections.
  • Floors should be slatted, perforated or mesh in accordance with BS5502:51.
  • The building should excluded harsh weather and draughts but provide maximum ventilation.
  • Dimensions and space dimensions are given in detail in the full standard.


  • Temperature should be no higher than the external temperature except where required to nurse sick stock.
  • Sufficient lighting should be provided for stock inspections.

Facilities and services

  • Full details of the required feeding arrangements are given in the full standard.
  • Sheep must have access to clean drinking water at all times.
  • Drinking vessels should be designed and installed in manner which minimises fouling, drowning and the effects of extreme weather.
  • Electric wiring, cables and equipment should be protected from weather and positioned so as to protect the flock. Potential damage by rodents should also be considered.
  • If drainage is required this must be capable of handling the total waste production for the maximum number of sheep to be housed.
  • Chemicals must be stored in accordance with BS5502: 81.
  • Facilities for boiling water for veterinary purposes should be provided.
  • Fire precautions should be in accordance with BS5502: 23.

Handling stock

  • Proper handling facilities for the correct management of sheep flocks must be made available. Facilities for sorting, dosing, dipping or spraying and veterinary inspection will be required.
  • Dipping bath design should consider the details given in HSE Leaflet AS29.
  • Fencing design will depend upon the breed of sheep.

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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