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Bird keepers urged to register their flock

18 June 2024

Two standing chickens and one sitting in front of an open gate

West Northamptonshire Trading Standards Team are urging everyone who keeps poultry or captive birds to register with the Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA).

Currently, anyone who keeps 50 or more birds it is compulsory to register their flock, however, those with fewer birds can voluntarily register. From 1 October, new requirements for all bird keepers who keep their poultry outdoors - regardless of the size of their flock – will come in which will require any who owns captive birds or poultry must officially register their birds. 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, which never leaves the property other than to visit a vet or another short-term period.

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. This will help to manage potential disease outbreaks, such as avian influenza and Newcastle disease, and limit any spread. It also enables them to keep up to date with the latest national and regional guidance.

“By registering keepers not only protect their own birds but contribute to the wider efforts to monitor and control avian diseases. I urge all keepers to register their flock to ensure the protection of all our bird populations ahead of the change in requirements coming into force from October.” Stuart Timmiss, Executive Director of Place at West Northamptonshire Council

For all the latest information in relation to the spread of Avian Flu and information on how you can help to protect your birds please see this guidance on Avian influenza (bird flu). Keepers can register their birds and poultry at Poultry and other captive birds: registration rules and forms-GOV.UK (


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