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Advice for livestock keepers and equine owners who have to manage their animals under the new restrictions on people’s movements that came into force on 23 March 2020.

Background

There is currently no evidence to indicate livestock or equines can be infected with SARS-CoV-2 (the virus which causes COVID-19) or can transmit it to other animals or humans.

If you have responsibility for caring for livestock or equines, you should prepare a contingency plan for how to maintain essential care for your animals if you, your family or your staff become ill or are unable to perform your usual care routine.  Consider reference to your business continuity plan if you have one and Welsh Government guidance to employers and businesses on COVID-19

Livestock keepers and horse owners are being asked to limit their movement outside the home or farm to a minimum. 

If you are self-isolating because you have symptoms of COVID-19 or have come into contact with someone who has, you should avoid contact with animals as much as possible.  Try to arrange for someone else who is not self-isolating to care for your animals.  If this is not possible, take extra care to wash your hands before and after handling your animals, and their produce.  You must follow the current Public Health Wales guidance on self and household isolation.

If your livestock or equine needs veterinary attention

Routine veterinary work such as foot trimming should be postponed where possible. 

If your livestock or equine is injured, sick or needs to receive urgent treatment for an ongoing condition please phone the vet to arrange the best approach to meet your animal’s needs. Do not visit the vet without checking with them in advance. Where possible arrange for someone else not showing symptoms to facilitate the vets visit to your farm/stables or liaise with the vet remotely avoiding close contact. Make specific arrangements before setting out to minimise any risks of possible virus transmission.

If your equine needs urgent attention from a farrier

Routine farriery should be postponed, wherever possible.

If your equine requires urgent attention from a farrier please phone the farrier to arrange the best approach to meet your animal’s needs. Do not visit or allow the farrier to visit without checking with them in advance. Where possible, arrange for someone else not showing symptoms to facilitate the farriers visit to your stables or liaise with the farrier remotely avoiding close contact. Make specific arrangements before setting out to minimise any risks of possible virus transmission.

Visiting farms and stables

All visits to farms and stables of groups of people and on-farm events, including sporting events should cease. 

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