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Veterinary surveillance: Great Britain Poultry Register

Defra, the Scottish Executive and the Welsh Assembly Government, backed by the poultry industry, have established the Great Britain Poultry Register to gather essential information about certain species of birds held on premises in Great Britain. This information will help reduce the impact of a disease outbreak.

Density of poultry & premises registered in GB Poultry register - PDF (507 kb)As of 16th June 2009, the GB Poultry Register holds details of 24,677 premises. A total of 262,937,612 birds have been registered.

Information regarding the Density of Poultry and Premises Registered in GB Poultry Register (PDF 365KB) and the Density of Premises and Poultry Species Registered on the GB Poultry Register (PDF 1.63 MB) is available.

Photo of hensWe continue to remind keepers that there is a requirement to register and continue to take new registrations (of premises with 50 or more birds) for those who haven’t had the need to register to date. New registrations must be notified within one month of the birds being acquired. In order to keep the register up to date you are required to notify us of any significant changes to information you have already supplied. This should be done as soon as possible and in any event within one month of the changes happening.

Voluntary registrations

We encourage premises with less than 50 birds to register on a voluntary basis.

Who has to register?

By law* you must register if you own or are responsible for a poultry premises with 50 or more birds. This requirement also applies even if the premises is only stocked with 50 or more birds for part of the year. At present, premises with fewer than 50 birds are not required to register, but we encourage keepers to do so voluntarily.

This does not necessarily mean 50 of one species (although this may be the case) but 50 overall, for example if you have 30 chickens, 15 geese, 4 ducks and 1 rhea you need to register.

The decision to restrict the requirement to register to flocks of 50 or more birds, was based on advice from experts who consider that smaller flocks are less likely to play a significant role in the spread of disease. It is a priority to focus on gathering information from these larger flocks. However, it is possible for owners of smaller flocks to register on a voluntary basis should they so wish and we would encourage them to do so.

* Avian Influenza (Preventive Measures) (England) Regulations 2006; Avian Influenza (Preventive Measures) (Scotland) Order 2007; Avian Influenza (Preventive Measures) (Wales) Regulations 2006 (links go to the OPSI website).

Register your birds

  • Request a form (also available in Welsh), by calling the freephone 0800 634 1112 (Lines are open 8am to 5:30pm, Monday to Friday). Return the completed form in the pre-paid envelope provided to: Poultry Register, PO Box 1109, Warrington. WA55 1EH.
  • Or, call us on freephone 0800 634 1112. Trained advisors will fill in the form with you over the phone.
  • The completed form and a confirmation letter will be sent to you to check**.
  • An Adobe Acrobat PDF version of the registration form (PDF 300 KB) (also available in Welsh (PDF 410 KB)) can be downloaded and printed (you will not be able to edit these versions electronically), complete by hand and returned by post to: Poultry Register, PO Box 1109, Warrington, WA55 1EH.
  • Instructions on how to download and use these versions are available.
  • The completed form and confirmation letter will be sent to you to check*.

Guidance Notes (PDF 100 KB) are available, also in Welsh (PDF140 KB).

* The Great Britain Poultry Register call centre is run by Vertex Data Science Ltd, Pegasus House, Kings Business Park, Liverpool Road, Prescot, L34 1PJ.

** When you first register, and following any subsequent changes to your details, you will be sent a Confirmation Letter (PDF46 KB), or in Welsh (PDF46 KB) and a copy of your registration details. You will then have an opportunity to check your details and amend if required.

Changes of use of the GB Poultry Register came into effect on 1 August 2008 following public consultation. A summary of responses to the consultation (PDF 290 KB) is available.

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What do we mean by “poultry”?

Photograph of pheasantFor the purpose of the Great Britain Poultry Register, the species of poultry which must be registered include:

  • chickens (including bantams)
  • turkeys
  • ducks
  • geese
  • partridges
  • quail
  • pheasants
  • pigeons (reared for meat)
  • guinea fowl
  • ostriches
  • emus
  • rheas

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What are the benefits?

If we know where your birds are kept and how many you have, we will be able to communicate with you quickly and help manage any potential disease outbreak by targeting resources where they are needed most.

The sooner we know where your birds are, the better prepared we will be to prevent and control a disease outbreak.

Previously, Government and various individual poultry organisations held information separately but no central register existed. Combining information such as the size and location of poultry premises onto one database will both help effective communication with poultry keepers and help manage any potential outbreak.

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What information will I have to provide?

You will be asked for:

  • your name
  • your premises address
  • your County Parish Holding (CPH) number (if you have one)
  • the number of poultry that are usually on the premises
  • their type of housing; and
  • the purposes for which they are reared

The number of poultry that are usually on the premises, is the number of poultry present when the premises is stocked.

You will also be asked some essential information that can assist risk assessment, for example, whether the poultry have access to the open air or whether there are bodies of water close by that attract wild birds.

Your personal information will be protected in accordance with the Data Protection Act 1998. The data protection statement at the end of the registration form explains what we will do with your personal information.Quality checks are continually undertaken on the information provided to the register. On occasions we may need to contact you directly to confirm any proposed amendments.

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What is the Alerts System?

The GB Poultry Register allows Government and its Agencies to contact poultry keepers about important developments regarding disease in a targeted way through email, post and SMS text by mobile. To date the use of SMS text to mobiles has proved to be the most efficient, direct and popular route.

If you have a change to your mobile number or email address (or wish to provide new details), please call the help line on freephone 0800 634 1112.

If you are not a poultry keeper but wish to receive SMS text alerts to your mobile you may register for this service.

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More information

See our page of questions and answers. If you have further questions or would like help to fill in the Great Britain Poultry Register form, please contact the Poultry Register Helpline on 0800 634 1112.

Guidance notes (PDF 70 KB) for the completion of the form are available, also in Welsh (PDF 170 KB).

Don't throw caution to the wind poster (pdf file - 193kb)The current promotional material is available:

For more information on how to make sure that good hygiene practices are in place, to help you prevent the spread of animal disease, please see our biosecurity pages.

Page last modified: 9 November, 2009
Page reviewed: 10 January, 2007

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