Hobby use and domestic animals

Find out if you have a hobby farm or a professional livestock farm, and what it entails if you have a horse, chicken, cow, dog, poultry, sheep or goats, for example.
Good advice Before you establish an animal farm

We recommend that you talk to your nearest neighbors if you are considering getting a pet. We find that most neighbor conflicts over an animal farm arise because the neighbors have not been informed about the establishment or expectations have not been agreed beforehand.

Therefore, it is a good idea to:

  • Talk to your neighbors
    Tell them about your plans – how big and how many
  • Consider your neighbors
    Involve them in your plans. For example, have a conversation about the location of cages, chicken coops etc.
  • Make sure that the animals are kept on their own land - fenced in
Do I have a hobby farm or a professional livestock farm?

Animal husbandry is divided into non-commercial (hobby use) and commercial animal husbandry depending on how many animals are on the property.

Hobby use

A hobby animal herd is an animal herd that consists of a maximum of either:

  • 2 cows with accompanying calves (up to 6 months)
  • 4 pieces of other cattle
  • 4 horses with accompanying foal (up to 12 months)
  • 2 sows with accompanying piglets (up to 40 kg)
  • 15 produced fattening pigs
  • 10 sheep with lambs (up to 12 months) or
  • 10 goats with kids (up to 12 months)
  • 4 dogs with puppies (up to 18 weeks)
  • 30 chickens

If you have a mixture of the above animal types or other animals, contact the Agricultural Team at +45 88 72 40 83 or erhverv-affald@sonderborg.dk.

Before you establish your animal farm, you must report it to the municipality. You report via the self-service link above.

Contact the municipality if you are in doubt about how to organize your animal husbandry. Contact information for Business & Waste is at the bottom of this page.

Commercial animal husbandry

If your herd exceeds the limits for the number of animals for a hobby herd, you have a commercial herd. Within commercial animal husbandry, there are two types – those subject to approval and those not subject to approval. Here we are only talking about commercial animal farms that are not subject to approval.

All commercial animal husbandry must be reported to the municipality, as well as comply with the rules in the livestock manure executive order.
You report on the self-service link above.

The municipality supervises properties with commercial animal husbandry. A user fee is charged for the inspection.

Read more about professional animal husbandry.

Can I have animals in the urban zone or cottage area?

In urban zone and holiday home areas and areas in rural areas that have been transferred by local plan for residential purposes or mixed residential and commercial use, pig, cattle, sheep, goat and horse farms are not permitted.

You are welcome to have:

  • Up to 30 pcs. chickens (all chickens)
  • Up to 4 adult dogs with puppies under 18 weeks

Chicken keeping in urban areas is regulated according to "Sønderborg Municipality's regulations for poultry and bird keeping in urban areas".

If your hobby animal husbandry gives rise to significant inconvenience or risk of contamination, the municipality may issue an order that you must take remedial measures.

What should I be aware of at stables?

In barns with hobby animals, there is no requirement for drainage in the barn. Drains in the barn to the sewage system and surface water system must be uncorked.

How should I store feed?
  • To avoid odor problems, it is important that you keep your folds and stables clean and tidy.
  • To avoid rats, avoid feed waste. 
  • The feed must be stored in closed containers so that pests cannot get to it. 
How should I store manure?

As a starting point, you must:

  • Store the livestock manure in a composting area with a dense bottom - e.g. cast concrete. 
  • Closed container where there is a fixed bottom where containers are filled. The fixed base must be kept clean so that there is no risk of contamination.
  • You can also put composted manure from a hobby animal farm in a field stack.
    - consider where you place the field stack in relation to streams, drains and neighbours.
    - place the field stack so that it is not in the same place until after 5 years.
    - avoid placing the field stack in depressions, as rainwater often collects in depressions and will draw juice out of the peat.
    - cover the field stack so that flies do not become a nuisance for the surrounding residents.

The above conditions will in all cases have to be assessed specifically in the individual case by the municipality's agricultural caseworker. Contact the municipality if you have any questions.

May I bury my dead pet?

If you want to bury your dead pet, be aware that there must be at least 50 meters of the grave to the nearest drinking water well.

Can I get a dispensation?

You can apply for a dispensation here.

Contact us

Business and Waste
Lille Rådhusgade 7
6400 Sønderborg

Phone hours:

Monday - Wednesday: 9.00 am - 15.00 pm
Thursday: 9.00 am - 17.00 pm
Friday: 9.00 am - 14.00 pm