Livestock owners must provide adequate housing and shelter for their animals. This is regulated by law according to the type of animal.

Each Metro has by-laws which will indicate the housing specifications for cattle, horses, mules and donkeys, goats, sheep, rabbits and poultry.

A by-law is a set of rules or legislation passed by the council of a municipality to regulate matters it is authorised to administer within its area of jurisdiction.

When it comes to housing of livestock the following is generally stated:

Every wall and partition of the stable must be constructed of brick, stone, concrete or other durable material. The internal wall surfaces of the stable must be constructed of smooth brick or other durable surface brought to a smooth finish.


In the case of cattle, horses, mules or donkeys, the height of the walls of the stable must be:

  • 2,4m if the roof is a pitched roof;
  • 2,7m if the roof is a flat roof;
  • a mean height of 3m with a minimum of 2,4m on the lowest side if the roof is a lean-to.

In the case of a stable that has an opening along the entire length of one of its long sides the wall must be not less than 2m.

For housing sheep or goats every wall must be at least 2m high.


The floor of the stable must be constructed of concrete or other durable and impervious material brought to a smooth finish graded to a channel and drained. The stable must have a floor area of at least 9m² for each head of cattle, horse, mule or donkey accommodated in it. At least 1,5m² of floor space must be provided for every goat or sheep accommodated, with an overall minimum floor area of 6m².

Lighting and ventilation

Lighting and ventilation must be provided by openings or glazed opening windows or louvres totaling at least 0,3m² for each animal to be accommodated in it except in the case of a stable open along the entire length of one of its long sides. The lowest point of every opening, window or louvres must be at least 1,8m above floor level. For every sheep or goat lighting and ventilation openings totaling at least 0,15m² must be provided.


Any enclosure must have an area of at least 10m² for each head of cattle, horse, mule or donkey accommodated in it and the fencing must be strong enough to prevent the animals from breaking out.

Enclosures or stables must be more than 15m from any boundary of any land, dwelling, building or other structure used for human habitation and more than 50m from any water resource or water supply intended or used for human consumption.


There must be a water supply adequate for drinking and cleaning purposes next to every stable or enclosure.

The regulations for housing pigs are different.

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