Government to consult on bird keeper registration rules
Rules would apply to keepers of birds of prey and pigeons, but not to parrots or budgies housed entirely indoors.
The proposal would require all keepers to register their birds.

As part of government measures to combat avian influenza, Defra has launched a consultation on new registration rules for all bird keepers in Great Britain.

The proposed rules would require all poultry keepers to register their birds, regardless of how many they have. Currently, only those who keep 50 or more are legally required to register their birds.

The rules would apply to keepers of backyard flocks, birds of prey and pigeons, but not parrots or budgies housed entirely indoors.

Registered information would need to be to be updated on an annual basis.

Registration with APHA will ensure that keepers receive important updates regarding local avian influenza outbreaks, and information on biosecurity rules. It will also allow the government to quickly communicate measures to help manage and limit the spread of disease.

In a joint statement the Chief Veterinary Officers from England, Scotland and Wales said: “These proposals will enable us to have a full picture of the number and location of birds kept across Great Britain and make it easier to track and manage the spread of avian disease.

“This information will also help inform future risk assessments and maintain our commitment to continually building our extensive avian influenza research portfolio.”

Richard Griffiths, British Poultry Council chief executive said: “We welcome this consultation as a means of ensuring the GB poultry register is fit to support Government and industry efforts in mitigating the ongoing impacts of avian influenza.

“Registering your poultry is an effective way of monitoring and controlling the spread of disease to protect the national flock.

“We, as ever, urge all poultry keepers to remain vigilant for signs of avian influenza in their birds.”

The GB-wide consultation is open until 31 May.