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.
The bird gatherings general licence was updated on 18 January 2018. Bird gatherings are permitted, subject to some specific identity and health checks and biosecurity measures. Our avian influenza (bird flu) guidance gives more details on current disease risks.
You can hold a bird gathering (a gathering of poultry or any other birds kept in captivity, including birds kept as pets) under this licence as long as
- you meet the conditions of the licence
- you give the Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA) at least 7 days’ notice
The licence is not available (that is, you can’t hold a gathering) in an avian disease control zone (Protection Zone, Surveillance Zone).
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 Your permission to operate under this licence could be suspended or withdrawn.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 bird gathering
Gatherings include (but are not limited to) bird fairs, markets, shows, sales, exhibitions, vehicles used for pigeon racing and some premises used for dealing or internet sales.
You should read the notes to the licence where we have set out full details of what counts as a bird gathering (and what doesn’t).
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 range of dates) of the gathering
- location of gathering (full postal address and postcode, and CPH number (if applicable))
- types and numbers of birds expected
- purpose of the gathering (for example, 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 or the local authority may ask you for this information.
Prevent disease spreading
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 biosecurity advice to all participants before the event.
You must comply with the requirements which are included in the licence (in particular in paragraphs 6-10 and 15).
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 the disease controlled zones. You’ll be told if your planned gathering is in the zone.
Tell APHA if you suspect your birds have a notifiable avian disease.
Contact your local APHA office if you want advice on bird gatherings or you suspect avian influenza or any other notifiable avian disease.