British Standards Relevant to Agriculture

British Standard Summaries

BS5502: Part 51: 1991
Building and Structures for Agriculture
Code of Practice for Design & Construction of Slatted, Perforated & Mesh Floors for Livestock

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 part of BS5502 provides guidance on the design and construction of slatted, perforated and mesh floors used within buildings used for housing cattle, pigs and sheep such that it allows animal waste to pass through.


  • Slatted, perforated and mesh floors can contribute significantly to the cleanliness of livestock housing.
  • Slurry accumulating in the pits below such floors can generate lethal gases when disturbed.
  • Regular inspections and maintenance of floors must be carried out. Damaged and worn floors should be replaced.
  • The full Standard provides guidance on dimensions, spacing, loading and specific design matters.
  • The service life of the whole floor should not be less that the design life.
  • All surfaces should be free of potentially damaging projections and edges.

Animal welfare

  • The appropriate welfare code for the stock being housed should be considered (cattle, sheep or pigs). Each code advises on the most suitable flooring type.
  • Floors must be designed to safeguard the welfare of livestock at al times.
  • Totally slatted, perforated and mesh floors may not be suitable for some types of cattle and sheep.
  • Some types of perforated sheet are unsuitable for sows with litter.
  • Newly born lambs should not be housed on slatted, mesh or perforated floors.


  • All construction materials should be made on non-toxic to both man and livestock.
  • All construction materials should be resistant to corrosion, chemical attack, extreme weather conditions and the effects of animal behaviour such as gnawing.
  • Animal wastes and the gases generated can speed up the deterioration of many materials.
  • If timber is used for flooring due consideration should be given to the effects of deterioration caused by moisture especially when pigs and cattle are housed.
  • Materials must be capble of supporting maximum predicted loadings.

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

ADLib logo Content provided by the Agricultural Document Library
© University of Hertfordshire, 2011