Birdkeepers and pet poultry owners urged to register flocks before crucial deadline

Anyone who keeps birds outdoors will be required to register them
-Credit: (Image: LancsLive)

Home-based birdkeepers have just a matter of weeks to comply with a new law requiring them to be registered.

Earlier this year Defra announced changes which will affect those who keep any number of birds outdoors. The register had previously only been applicable to those owning 50 or more.

The threshold for mandatory registration will be reduced from 50 birds to one, which means all poultry and captive bird keepers will be legally required to register their birds. Owners will also be required to review their poultry register entry annually to ensure their details are up to date.

The new legislation has been brought in to monitor outbreaks of avian influenza. There have been more than 360 cases across Great Britain since October 2021 including a significant number of backyard flocks.

Birdkeepers will be required to register their flocks from October 1 but are being urged to complete the online forms ahead of the deadline. Birds such as budgies, parrots and canaries which are kept indoors or in a dedicated ‘bird house’ without any outside access will be exempt.

Registering a flock: by a birdkeeper

As I have previously written about, I am the proud owner of my own backyard flock, which includes four chickens and two Campbell Khaki ducks, writes Amy Fenton.

I registered my birds through Defra's website with the process only taking a couple of minutes. The form can be downloaded and completed on your computer and you can then email it direct to Defra using the address given.

You have to provide information about the number of birds you have, their species/breed e.g. chickens/ducks/emus (!) and give your contact details as well as including the address where the birds are kept.

After registering you'll receive a confirmation email and, I assume, a reminder to re-register annually. All the information you need to register your birds is available HERE.