Farming Standards


As the fourth and eighth biggest counties in England, Devon & Somerset form part of one of the largest farming regions in the country, with tens of thousands of holdings, regular livestock markets held across the two counties each week, a number of slaughterhouses and important agricultural events held throughout the year.

As a result, advice, guidance and enforcement on Animal Health, Welfare and Disease Control legislation is a high priority for our Service. At the same time we ensure that animal feed and any food produced on farms meet both safety and hygiene controls.

Our aim is to protect the health and welfare of livestock in Devon & Somerset, including farm animals being transported or exposed for sale at a market.

We actively investigate any serious breach of legislation and deal with many complaints and referrals each year, taking enforcement action against offenders (including prosecution in serious cases) if necessary. We work in close co-operation with the Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA),  Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA), the Food Standards Agency, the British Cattle Movement Service, other Local Authorities, the RSPCA and the Police.

Animal Health & Welfare

Trading Standards is responsible for monitoring and investigating animal health and welfare of livestock (particularly at markets and during transport) across Devon & Somerset, ensuring animals are treated correctly and not caused unnecessary suffering. You can find out more about this, as well as how to report any farmed animal welfare concerns at Animal health and welfare.

Animal Movement

The Disease Control Order requires all movements of cattle, sheep, goats, pigs and deer to be recorded and reported to the appropriate agency. On farm movement records must be kept to record all movements on and off the holding, births, deaths and replacement tags.

As a livestock owner you must be aware of the regulations and keep the required records. Find out more (including how to get animal movement record books).

Animal Feed & Hygiene

Keeping animal feed safe is vital for the welfare of livestock, the protection of consumers and to prevent and contain outbreaks of disease. As a result Trading Standards carefully monitors the manufacture, transportation and storage of animal feed, including feed produced or mixed on farms. You can find more information about legal obligations and good feed storage practice here.

Information on Animal Diseases

‘Notifiable’ diseases are animal diseases that you’re legally obliged to report to the Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA), even if you only suspect that an animal may be affected.

Notifiable diseases can be:

  • endemic – already present in the UK such as bovine TB
  • exotic – not normally present in the UK, such as foot and mouth disease

Some endemic and exotic diseases are zoonotic, which means they can pass between animals and humans, such as rabies. Find out more here.

Farming Standards Guidance Leaflets

For advice on all manner of farming matters that Trading Standards is involved with – from the rules regarding slaughter outside licensed abattoirs to advice on avoiding and recognising different animal diseases – we have a range of leaflets to help you.