Sheep (England): Code of Recommendations for the Welfare of Livestock (PB5162)

Housing: Mechanical and Equipment Services

Schedule 1, paragraph 18 of the Welfare of Farmed Animals (England) Regulations 2000 (S.I. 2000 No. 1870) states that:

  • All automated or mechanical equipment essential for the health and well-being of the animals shall be inspected at least once a day to check there is no defect in it.

Schedule 1, paragraph 19 states that:

  • Where defects in automated or mechanical equipment of the type referred to in paragraph 18 of Schedule 1 are discovered, these shall by rectified immediately or, if this is impossible, appropriate steps shall be taken to safeguard the health and well-being of the animals pending the rectification of such defects, including the use of alternative methods of feeding and watering and methods of providing and maintaining a satisfactory environment.

On artificial ventilation systems, Schedule 1 paragraph 20 states that where the health and well-being of the animals is dependent on such a system:

    (a) provision shall be made for an appropriate back-up system to guarantee sufficient air renewal to preserve the health and well-being of the animals in the event of failure of the system; and

    (b) an alarm system (which will operate even if the principal electricity supply to it has failed) shall be provided to give warning of any failure of the system.

Schedule 1, paragraph 21 states that:

  • The back-up system referred to in paragraph 20(a) of Schedule 1 shall be thoroughly inspected and the alarm system referred to in paragraph 20(b) of Schedule 1 shall be tested at least once every seven days in order to check that here is no defect in the system and, if any defect is found (whether when the system is inspected or tested in accordance with this paragraph or at any other time), it shall be rectified immediately.

  1. All equipment and services including water bowls and troughs, ventilating fans, heating and lighting units, milking machines, fire extinguishers and alarm systems should be cleaned and inspected regularly and kept in good working order.
  2. The law (see box before paragraph 117) requires all automatic equipment used in intensive systems to be thoroughly inspected by the shepherd, or other competent person, not less than once each day to check that there is no defect. Any defect must be rectified immediately.
  3. All electrical installations at mains voltage should be inaccessible to sheep, well-insulated, safeguarded from rodents and properly earthed.
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