Home » Ban on bird gatherings relaxed in Wales

Ban on bird gatherings relaxed in Wales

A scheme for a self-serve egg and farm shop has been submitted to Ceredigion planners (Pic: Ralph, Pixabay)

CHIEF Veterinary Officer for Wales, Dr Richard Irvine has announced that the ban on gatherings of Galliforme birds such as pheasants, chickens and turkeys has been lifted in Wales (16 Feb).

In 2021, in the face of Great Britain’s biggest outbreak of Avian Influenza, a ban on poultry gatherings was introduced to help prevent the spread of the disease and protect flocks.

After over two years of not allowing gatherings, the later part of 2023 saw a change in the disease, with fewer infected premises and findings in wild birds.

There have been no cases of infected premises in Wales since April 2023.

However, the risk levels are still considered to be too high for gatherings of Anseriforme birds such as ducks, geese and swans, which will remain prohibited.

Following the relaxation, Galliforme bird keepers arranging a fair, market, show, exhibition or other gatherings will be required to follow and meet all requirements of a general license.

Details can found on the Welsh Government website at www.gov.wales/bird-gatherings-general-licence-gatherings and www.gov.wales/bird-gatherings-general-licence-poultry.

Chief Veterinary Officer for Wales, Dr Richard Irvine said in a statement, “Poultry keepers have worked hard to protect their birds from the risks of avian influenza by implementing strong biosecurity and other measures, and I want to thank them again for all they have done.

“I am pleased we are now able to allow gatherings of Galliforme birds to resume. This is a welcome development, enabled by the support and cooperation of the poultry sector.

“This means, from today, gatherings of all types of birds, except Anseriforme birds, will be permitted across Wales, provided keepers follow and meet all the requirements of the general licence.

“This does not mean the risk of avian influenza has disappeared. Scrupulous hygiene and biosecurity are essential to protect flocks from the threat of disease, and it is important bird keepers continue to complete the biosecurity self-assessment checklist.

“All of our mitigation measures, including restrictions on bird gatherings, are kept under constant review, to help ensure the national flock is protected.”