Keeping a pet pig or 'micropig'

Find out how to register your land and animals, how to get a pig walking licence and what you can feed pet pigs.

Applies to England

If you keep a pig or ‘micropig’ as a pet, you’re considered a pig keeper. You must follow the same welfare and traceability regulations as pig farmers.

‘Micropigs’ are pigs bred to be small so they can be kept more easily as pets.

You are legally responsible for the welfare of your pig. You must look after it by:

  • providing it with a suitable place to live
  • giving it a suitable diet
  • making sure it can behave naturally and normally
  • protecting it from pain, suffering, injury and disease

You must follow good hygiene and biosecurity standards to help prevent the introduction and spread of disease.

Before you get a pig

You must apply for a county parish holding (CPH) number from the Rural Payments Agency (RPA)

You must also let RPA know if there are any changes to your CPH details, within 30 days of the change.

Register as pig keeper

By law you must register your pet pig with the Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA) within 30 days of your first pet pig arriving on your land or at your home.

Animal and Plant Health Agency
Telephone (Defra rural services helpline): 03000 200 301
Monday to Friday, 8:30am to 5pm
Find out about call charges

Tell APHA if your circumstances change

You must tell APHA if you:

  • move house
  • get more pigs or a new species of pig
  • stop keeping pigs

This is so APHA can track the location and movement of animals to prevent and control disease.

Report any change in circumstances to APHA.

Get a licence to walk a pet pig

You need to apply for a licence from APHA to walk your pig outside your home or premises. You can get an application form from APHA.

Animal and Plant Health Agency
Telephone (Defra rural services helpline): 03000 200 301
Monday to Friday, 8:30am to 5pm
Find out about call charges

You’ll need to provide a map of your proposed route as part of your application. APHA may not approve your walking route if it poses a health risk, for example if it passes close to a:

  • livestock market
  • pig farm
  • fast food restaurant

You must have your licence with you whenever you’re walking your pig, and you’ll need to renew it every year.

When to record movements

You must report and record any movement of your pig.

You do not need to report and record the movement if you’re only taking it for a walk under the terms of your licence.

Add identification details to your pig

You must tag, tattoo or mark your pig with identification details if you plan to move it away from your home or premises. This includes:

  • taking it for a walk (under licence)
  • taking it to a market, pig farm or abbatoir

Feeding your pigs

You cannot feed pigs catering waste from any domestic or commercial kitchen including kitchens that only cater for vegetarians. Catering waste includes used cooking oil.

You generally cannot feed pigs material of animal origin or products containing material of animal origin.

You can feed pigs:

You can get pig food from a premises that handles material that cannot be fed to pigs, but only if both of the following apply:

  • the premises has a procedure to keep material that can be fed to pigs separate from material that cannot be fed to pigs
  • the procedure has been agreed with a local authority

Contact APHA if you’re still unsure whether you can feed something to your pig.

Published 31 December 2014
Last updated 24 January 2023 + show all updates
  1. Updated guidance for what you need to do before you get a pig, when you need to record movements and when to add identification details to your pig.

  2. First published.