Isle Of Man / Ellan Vannin

Livestock 'lifestyle choice' warning

Pigs
Image caption Owners must remember the animals' welfare, the vet warned

People choosing to keep livestock as pets on the Isle of Man need to think carefully about the responsibility, a senior government vet has warned.

Veterinary officer Richard Ashworth said increasing numbers of landowners were keeping cattle, sheep and pigs as a hobby, or to control grassland.

Some think it would be an "exciting addition" to their lifestyle, he added.

But anyone taking on livestock needs to look after their welfare, deal with disease and ensure safety, he warned.

"Before you take on such a commitment, remember that young animals grow on significantly, and can become difficult to handle, or even aggressive," he said.

"This is especially true if you have hand-reared them.

"Be aware that adult farm animals can present a safety risk to you."

And Dr Ashworth warned that keeping livestock as pets did not exempt owners from the legislation that farmers must follow.

Guidelines and advice is issued through Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry (DAFF).

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