Preventing bird flu: Keepers must register their flock under new rules

Under the changes announced last month, there will be new requirements for all bird keepers – regardless of the size of their flock – to officially register their birds.

Prior to this new legislation, only those who kept 50 or more poultry were required to do so, limiting the effectiveness of national disease control measures.

Owners will need to provide information, including their contact details, the location where birds are kept and details of the birds, such as species, number and what they are kept for.

The information must be updated annually.

The new rules cover owners of backyard flocks, birds of prey and pigeon fanciers, but do not affect caged pet birds (excluding any poultry species) kept entirely inside a domestic dwelling, such as a parrot, canary or budgie.

A spokesperson for Bolton Council said:

“By registering their birds, keepers will ensure they receive important updates relevant to them, such as on any local avian disease outbreaks and information on biosecurity rules to help protect their flocks.”

The changes come following the UK’s worst ever outbreak of avian influenza, with more than 360 cases across Great Britain since late October 2021, including in a significant number of backyard flocks.

More information is available at Animal health and welfare – Bolton Council.

Anyone who needs to register birds should contact [email protected].

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