Senior vets have backed proposed new rules that would require all poultry keepers to officially register their birds, regardless of the numbers they keep.
A consultation has been launched today (7 March) on the plans, which are intended to help tackle the current avian flu crisis.
At present, only keepers who have 50 birds or more are legally required to register and update their information annually.
But officials argued that registering birds with the APHA will enable information about local outbreaks and updated biosecurity requirements to be updated more widely.
In a joint statement, the CVOs of 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.”
The proposed measures would apply to the owners of backyard flocks, birds of prey and pigeon fanciers, but not to the owners of pet birds kept solely within the home.
British Poultry Council chief executive Richard Griffiths 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 consultation is open until 31 May.
Credit to: Chief vets back plans to extend bird registration requirements (Vet Times)
Vet Times. (2023). Chief vets back plans to extend bird registration requirements [online]