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Farm Animals

baby goats

In Surrey, the Zoning Bylaw regulates the amount of livestock such as cows, bulls, horses, mules, sheep, goats, pigs, rabbits, chinchillas, chickens and llamas that residents are permitted to keep on their properties.

Throughout the region, there are specific agricultural zones that permit the raising of livestock without limiting the number of animals on the property. However, on the majority of residential properties, there are provisions to owning and housing animals.

Raising Farm Animals on Your Property

To raise farm animals, or livestock, on your residential property, your property must be zoned as RA, RH, RF or RF-SS, and be at least 1 acre in size. For properties that are less than 1 acre in size, keeping larger livestock is generally not permitted, however, an exception has been made for backyard chickens (hens only), rabbits, chinchillas, pigeons, and doves.

Livestock Limitations

On properties where livestock is permitted, the following limits are in place:

  • 2 livestock for every 0.4 hectare (1 acre) with the minimum lot size of 0.4 hectare (1 acre)
  • 6 sheep or goats for every 0.4 hectare (1 acre) with the minimum lot size of 0.4 hectare (1 acre)
  • 12 head of poultry, excluding roosters, for every 0.4 hectare (1 acre) with the minimum lot size of 0.4 hectare (1 acre) **
  • 2 rabbits or chinchillas for every 0.4 hectare (1 acre) with no minimum lot size

** Despite Sub-section 7(a) of Surrey's Zoning Bylaw, the keeping of chickens may be permitted in the RA, RA-G, RH, RH-G, RF, RF-SS, and RF-G Zones, where the lot is greater than 669 square meters (7,200 sq. ft.) but less than 0.4 hectares (1 acre). Certain limitations apply. Keeping of hens is subject to the Surrey Chicken Keeping Bylaw. See our raising backyard chickens web page for more details.

Pigeons and Doves

Pigeons and doves may be permitted in the RA, RA-G, RH, RH-G, RF, RF-SS, RF-13, RF-G, RF-12 and RM-D Zones, provided that:

  • The lot is not less than 560 square metres (6,000 sq.ft.)
  • The total number of pigeons and doves shall not exceed 15 birds per 93 square metres (1,000 sq.ft.) of lot area; and
  • The keeping of pigeons and doves is subject to the Surrey Control of Pigeon and Dove Bylaw

Caring for Livestock

Owners of livestock and domestic animals must ensure that the animals are contained (through fencing, etc.) on their property.  If an animal is found “at large," it may be impounded. An animal is “at large” when it is not on a leash under the care and control of a competent person and is off the property it resides on.

All animal owners in Surrey are responsible for the care and welfare of the animals they own. This includes providing adequate food, water, shelter, veterinary care and living conditions. Below are the minimum standards that an animal owner is responsible for:

  • Water must be clean and potable.
  • Enough food must be provided for normal growth and maintenance of normal body weight.
  • If the animal is outside, adequate shelter must be provided. The width of the shelter should be 1.5 times the length of the animal, and the height should be the height of the animal plus 10%.  It must be appropriate to the size and coat of the animal and protect against heat, cold and wet conditions. The shelter should provide shade from sun at all times.
  • Living areas must be regularly cleaned and sanitized, with excrement removed at least once daily.
  • Adequate exercise to maintain good health.
  • Adequate veterinary care.
  • Animals cannot be tethered directly or tethered to a choke chain.
  • Animals cannot be enclosed in a confined space, including vehicles, without adequate ventilation.

Learn more about animals in Surrey.