GB Poultry Register – consultation on potential changes

31 March 2023

An image of some hens on a fence

Defra is consulting on the proposal to extend the mandatory Great Britain Poultry Register to all poultry and captive bird keepers as part of government action to tackle avian influenza.

7 March 2023

Defra launches consultation on registration requirements for all bird keepers

Defra has launched a new consultation asking bird keepers for their views on making it compulsory for any keeper to register poultry with the APHA (Animal Plant and Health Agency), rather than just those with over 50 birds.

The current legislation means that anyone who has more than 50 poultry at a single premises must register their birds on the Great Britain Poultry Register.

The consultation, which launched on 7 March 2023, asks whether this should be extended to:

  • all bird keepers or only keepers with 10 or more birds
  • include mandatory annual updates

Potential changes are aimed at improving the APHAs response to disease outbreaks, making it easier for keepers to receive important updates and information about confirmed cases, surveillance and monitoring, and biosecurity measures.

NFU Chief Poultry Adviser Aimee Mahony said: “Since 2017 the NFU has been actively engaged in reviewing the GB Poultry Register. Therefore we are pleased to see that the government have finally launched a consultation to consider the accuracy and relevance of the information it holds on poultry keepers of all scales and sizes.

“The main aim for us is to ensure that the register is fit for purpose and that accurate and timely information can be delivered to all poultry keepers, which in turn will help protect the health of the national flock.

“We welcome the confirmation that the devolved governments in Great Britain are working together via this consultation and we are encouraging members to feed in to the NFU’s response to ensure that we accurately represent what’s best for the future of the industry”.

How to have your say

Via the NFU

The consultation is open until 31 May 2023 and the NFU will be submitting a response on behalf of members.

To have your say, please contact [email protected] indicating whether you:

  1. think the mandatory registration threshold should be one or ten birds and briefly outline your reasons why
  2. agree or not with a mandatory annual update to allow keepers to review and update their details as required

We require your feedback by 15 May 2023 to incorporate your views into our response.

Respond directly

You can also respond directly to the GB-wide consultation survey. Visit: Consultation on proposed registration requirements for all bird keepers in Great Britain | Defra

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  • Defra is consulting on registration rules for bird keepers in Great Britain.
  • Currently only keepers with more than 50 birds are required to register their birds.
  • The consultation asks whether this should be extended to all bird keepers or keepers with 10 or more birds.
  • The proposal would require all bird keepers to register their birds and update information annually.
  • The action is part of the government's plan to tackle avian influenza.