Gatherings of Captive Birds

Captive birds from different groups brought together must comply with the general conditions of the APHA’s General Licence for bird gatherings.

This includes record keeping, some strict bio-security measures and having a written action plan for use in the event of a disease outbreak.

Whilst this mainly applies to poultry show or auction organisers, it would apply to you if you were to look after a friends chickens at your premises whilst they were on holiday for example or offer a chicken holiday home where people would bring their birds to you to look after whilst you’re away.

Non-compliance risks up to 3 months in prison and / or a £5000 fine!

The Licence

The requirements are not too onerous if you do find yourself needing a licence. As well as complying with any requirements set out in the licence. Defra or APHA could withdraw the licence immediately if the risk of the spread of avian influenza (bird flu) increases (keep this in mind if you need to rent a hall for a show or sale for example).

You must take all reasonable steps to prevent the spread of notifiable avian disease onto, within and off the premises where the gathering is held. This includes sending bio-security advice to all participants before the event.

You will need to keep records for 3 months after the gathering, with basic information such as the name, address and telephone number of people bringing birds to and from your gathering and you will need to record the types and numbers of birds. Remember if birds are sold at the gathering you would also need to keep a record of the new owner’s details as well.

The APHA or the local authority can ask you for this information and don’t forget when gathering personal information about people you would also need to comply with the GDPR rules that came into force in May 2018.

For more information and to see if you would need a licence for a bird gathering, please visit this link:


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