Changes to the Poultry Register announced

Changes to the Poultry Register announced

pheasants in pen

Following a 2023 consultation covering Great Britain, Defra, along with the Scottish and Welsh governments, announced new measures to protect the poultry sector from avian influenza.

Under the changes announced, there will be new requirements for all bird keepers to complete the poultry register, regardless of how many birds they keep. 

Currently only those who keep 50 or more poultry (this includes gamebirds when kept) must do so. There will be exceptions for those keeping certain caged pet birds. There will also be legal requirement to review and update records annually.

The new requirements are due to be introduced from 1 September 2024 in Scotland, and 1 October 2024 in England and Wales, and the details will be set out in legislation shortly.

Glynn Evans, head of game and wildlife management, said: “Although the keepers of small flocks need to be aware of this announcement, the change will not affect the majority of shoots who release gamebirds as they are already required to complete the poultry register.”

In our response to the consultation, BASC highlighted the importance of an accurate and up to date poultry register in tackling avian influenza. In relation to any potential changes, our response stated that there needs to be sufficient resources available and that relevant processes need to be as straightforward as possible. 

We will await further details as this process moves forward.