Farm Animal Welfare - Summary of the Law (PB2531)

3. Welfare of Livestock (Prohibited Operations) Regulations 1982 (SI 1982 No 1884)

These Regulations prohibit a number of operations in relation to livestock on agricultural land. The prohibitions do not apply to the rendering, in emergency, of first aid for the purpose of saving life or relieving pain, nor to the performamce by a veterinary surgeon of an operation which is part of, in his or her opinion, the proper treatment for the disease or injury.

These Regulations prohibit the following:-

  1. penis amputation and other penile operations;
  2. freeze dagging of sheep;
  3. short-tail docking of sheep, unless sufficient tail is retained to cover the vulva in the case of female sheep and the anus of male sheep;
  4. tongue amputation in calves;
  5. hot branding of cattle;
  6. tail docking of cattle;
  7. devoicing of cockerels;
  8. castration of a male bird by a method involving surgery;
  9. any operation on a bird with the object or effect of impeding flight, other than feather clipping;
  10. fitting any appliance which has the object or effect of limiting vision to a bird by a method involving the penetration or other mutilation of the nasal septum;
  11. tail docking of a pig unless the operation is performed by the quick and complete severance of the part of the tail to be removed and either
    1. the pigs is less than 8 days old; or
    2. the operation is performed by a veterinary surgeon who is of the opinion that the operation is necessary for reasons of health or to prevent injury from the vice of tail biting;
  12. removal of any part of the antlers of a deer before the velvet of the antlers is frayed and the greater part of it has been shed.
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