The British Association for Shooting and Conservation (BASC) has called for an urgent meeting with Defra to discuss proposals about sharing confidential information from the GB Poultry Register with other government departments.
The register was set up to help minimise the effects of avian influenza and assurances were made by Defra at the time that personal information would only be used for this purpose.
Defra launched a consultation in November to ascertain the views of people already on the poultry register on the possibility of sharing information across other government departments such as HM Revenue and Customs.
BASC has submitted a response to the consultation to seek clarification on what Defra means by sharing information for “additional purposes”. BASC is concerned that personal data, which people had submitted in good faith, will be used for purposes other than to minimise the effects of avian flu.
Head of gamekeeping and game shooting, Stewart Scull, said: “I was involved in the original discussions about establishing the poultry register in 2005 when Defra gave assurances that any information provided would only be used for its intended purpose, to combat avian flu. While BASC supports Defra’s proposal to allow the poultry register to be used to combat other notifiable diseases such as Newcastle Disease, we’re concerned that it is now being proposed to make this information available to multiple agencies not directly involved in disease outbreaks.”