Cruise Arrivals


New bird flu protection measures set out

New protection measures are being brought in for poultry.

New measures to better protect the poultry sector from future avian influenza outbreaks have been set out by the UK Government.

Under the changes recently announced there will be new requirements for all bird keepers — regardless of the size of their flock — to officially register their birds.

Currently, only those who keep 50 or more poultry must do so.

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.

It is hoped this will help to manage potential disease outbreaks, such as avian influenza and Newcastle disease, and limit any spread.

Orkney Islands Council’s trading standards manager, Gary Foubister, said: “The information on the register will also be used to identify all bird keepers in disease control zones, allowing for more effective surveillance, so that zones can be lifted at the earliest possible opportunity and trade can resume more quickly following any outbreak of avian disease in Great Britain.

“As we have witnessed on several occasions Orkney is not immune to outbreaks, so it’s important for everyone with a flock, no matter the size, to officially register their birds.”

Bird keepers will need to provide information, including their contact details, the location where birds are kept and details of the birds (species, number and what they are kept for).

In Scotland, keepers should register from September 1, when there will be a new Scottish Kept Bird Register in place.

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.

The requirements will be set out in legislation shortly and keepers will also be legally required to update their information on an annual basis.

Further information on the registration of birds can be found on www.gov.uk/government/news/new-measures-to-help-protect-poultry-industry-from-bird-flu