Poultry identification and traceability are integral to both disease control and maintaining consumer confidence in British produce. For this reason there are required standards for registering flocks on the Great Britain Poultry Register to prevent and trace the spread of any disease.

If AHVLA knows how many birds you have and where you keep them, it will be easier and quicker to contact you and help manage any potential disease outbreak by targeting resources where they are needed most.

Which species to register

To help national veterinary surveillance, the following species of poultry must be registered:

  • chickens (including bantams)
  • turkeys
  • ducks
  • geese
  • partridges
  • quail
  • pheasants
  • pigeons (reared for meat)
  • guinea fowl
  • ostriches
  • emus, rheas and cassowaries (usually kept in zoos)

Who has to register

You must register if you own or are responsible for a poultry premises with 50 or more birds. This applies even if your premises are only stocked for part of the year. Premises with fewer than 50 birds do not need to register, but Defra encourages keepers to do so voluntarily.

You must register if you have 50 or more birds in total. They do not have to be all of the same species. You should do this within one month of receiving the poultry or the changes happening.

Information you have to provide

You will be asked for the following information:

  • your name
  • your premises address
  • your County Parish Holding number, if you have one – this is for administration purposes to make it easier to trace livestock owners in event of disease outbreak
  • the number of poultry usually on the premises – this is the number present when the premises are stocked
  • the type of poultry housing
  • why you are rearing poultry

You will also be asked risk assessment questions, eg whether the poultry have access to the open air and whether there are any bodies of water close by that may attract wild birds.

If you operate large flocks, you may separately have to apply to the Environment Agency or Scottish Environment Protection Agency for an environmental permit. Further information is available on GOV.UK:  environmental protection and pollution control.

How to register

By email
Complete the registration form, using the guidance notes provided. Once complete, please email it to poultryregister@ahvla.gsi.gov.uk.

A Welsh version of the form and guidance notes is also available.

You can also telephone the GB Poultry Register Helpline on 0800 634 1112 (lines are open 8:30am to 5:00pm Monday to Thursday and 8:30am to 4:30pm on Friday) and request a registration form.

By post
You can post the completed form to:

Animal Health and Veterinary Laboratories Agency (AHVLA)
Cardiff Specialist Service Centre
Poultry Data Team
Government Buildings
66 Ty Glas Road
CF14 5ZB

A copy of the completed registration form and a confirmation letter will be sent for you to check.

Special Marketing Terms (SMT)

Specific information is required from producers and processors that use or are planning to use the Special Marketing Terms (SMT) for poultry meat. In addition to the above registration form, customers are required to complete PMR 2 form, please refer to guide notes for clarification. This form needs to be returned to your local AHVLA office for them to arrange a visit from an AHVLA inspector.

Page last modified: 10 February 2014