Hold a bird gathering under the general licence
What counts as a bird gathering and the conditions you must meet to hold a gathering under the general licence.
You don’t need to apply for the bird gatherings general licence.
You can hold a bird gathering under this licence as long as you meet its conditions and give the Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA) at least 7 days notice.
You could be prosecuted if you don’t meet the licence conditions. Your permission to operate under this licence could be suspended or withdrawn.
What counts as a gathering
You must meet the conditions of this licence if you hold a gathering of poultry or any other birds kept in captivity, including pets.
Gatherings include birds being brought together:
- for fairs, markets, shows, sales or exhibitions
- in vehicles used for pigeon racing
If all of the birds at the gathering are from the same premises and return to that premises, you don’t need to meet these conditions.
You must notify your local APHA Office at least 7 days before a bird gathering. You’ll need to give them the following details:
- date or dates of the gathering
- location of gathering (address and postcode)
- types and numbers of birds expected
- purpose of the gathering - eg show, sale, racing
- your name, address and contact number, and an email address and mobile number if you have them
APHA will tell the local authority about the gathering.
Keep records for 3 months
You must keep records of bird gatherings for at least 3 months after each event, including:
- name, address and contact number of anyone moving birds to and from the gathering
- types and numbers of birds exhibited, raced, bought or sold at the gathering
APHA may ask you for this information.
Prevent disease spreading
You must try to prevent the spread of disease in the following ways.
Make sure any containers you take to gatherings haven’t been contaminated with material from birds that aren’t at that gathering.
Dispose of (or treat to remove the risk of disease transmission) anything birds had access to, including:
- any other material of bird origin
- anything left at the gathering which has been contaminated by the birds
Clean and disinfect parts of the premises contaminated by birds or materials (apart from areas covered by grass).
Make sure any containers left at the premises are cleaned and disinfected as soon as possible and before they’re used again.
Use a Defra-approved disinfectant.
Avian influenza risk
Defra or APHA could withdraw this licence immediately if the risk of the spread of avian influenza (bird flu) increases.
If there is an outbreak in the country the general licence will be withdrawn in a restriction zone. You’ll be told if your planned gathering is in the zone.
Tell APHA if you suspect your birds have avian influenza.
Contact your local APHA office if you want advice on bird gatherings or you suspect avian influenza.
Published: 14 May 2015
Updated: 14 June 2016
- Removed reference to vet assessment as this is a general licence and is therefore not carried out on a case-by-case-basis.
- First published.