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It is a legal requirement for all bird keepers to follow strict biosecurity measures.

Register as a bird keeper

Bird keepers should be aware of the legal requirement to register their birds with the GOV.UK Poultry Register. Poultry animals are; chickens, ducks, turkeys, geese, pigeons (bred for meat), partridge, quail, guinea fowl and pheasants. 

You should register your birds on the Poultry Register if you:

  • have 50 or more birds
  • only keep a few birds as pets or in garden flocks.

The Poultry Register means you can be easily contacted in the event of an outbreak in the borough of Bury.

To help us manage any confirmed outbreak in Bury, we ask all bird keepers to also register their birds with us by providing the following information:

  • your name, address, email and telephone number
  • the location where your birds are kept, for example; rear garden, allotment or other address
  • details of birds you keep, such as their species and how many
  • the reason you keep the birds, for example; as a hobby, as pets, for showing, breeding or rearing, egg production or meat production.

Managing bird flu

Bird flu is also known as avian influenza and we offer the following advice and guidance to keep your birds safe and well. 

The risk of the bird flu virus impacting human health is very low and food standards bodies advise that avian influenzas pose a very low food safety risk for UK consumers. If you are concerned, you can call NHS 111 or speak to your GP.

Bird keepers should be aware that the department for environment, food and rural affairs (Defra) and the Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA) announced mandatory housing measures for all poultry and captive birds across all areas of England from 7th November 2022.

For the latest government advice please visit avian influenza on GOV.UK.

Report bird flu

If you suspect a case of bird flu in poultry or captive birds, you should report this immediately using the Defra Rural Services Helpline 0300 0200 301. Failure to report is an offence as bird flu is a notifiable disease.

Dead or unwell birds

If you find dead or visibly unwell wild swans, geese, ducks, birds of prey or other dead wild birds, you must not touch it or pick it up. You should report it to the Defra Helpline 0345 933 5577.

The APHA might collect some of these birds to test them for avian influenza to help understand how the disease is distributed geographically and in different types of bird. Not all birds will be collected.