Welfare of animals kept for hobby purposes

Hobby animals are farm animals that are not kept commercially. In some cases, there are different rules for this category of animals than for pets, animals kept commercially and wild animals.

Health and welfare of hobby animals

The most common animals kept for hobby purposes are sheep, goats, cattle, pigs and poultry. Their owners are responsible for the animals’ health and welfare. The law states that:

  • If an animal becomes ill, its owner must call in a vet. If the disease is infectious, the owner must report the case to the Netherlands Food and Consumer Product Safety Authority.
  • The housing of hobby animals must meet certain requirements, for instance about the amount of space animals have. This is laid down in the Animal Health and Welfare Act (GWWD).

  • People who keep animals for hobby purposes must have these animals identified and registered. This allows the animals and their place of origin to be traced quickly during an outbreak of an infectious animal disease.

Fines for breaking rules on animal welfare during transport

Rules on the transport of live animals also apply to animals kept for hobby purposes. Owners who violate these rules, for instance on journey times and rest periods, can be fined by the Netherlands Food and Consumer Product Safety Authority.