Thursday, 4 January 2007

Transport of Poultry

First I wish everybody a Happy New Year . I meant to do this in the last blog but got busy but better late than never.
On the 5th January 2007 the EU directive regarding the welfare of animals in Transit has been extended and now covers Poultry. Poultry is not defined in the act but is taken to include domestic fowl, ducks, geese, turkeys, guinea-fowl, quails, pheasants and partridges . For those who haven't heard I thought I would just say how it affects those who live in the UK .
Anybody who transports poultry for business or trade must fill out an Animal Movement Certificate which must accompany the birds on their journey. However if the birds are just pets and are accompanied by their owner at all times this is not necessary unless they are going to a sale or a show in which case this is regarded as commercial and the regulation applies.
If you are transporting the birds over 65Km ( approximately 40 miles) you will also need to apply for Transportation authorisation from Defra.
Even where the animal movement certificate is not required you must ensure that the birds are fit to travel and are healthy. Also that they are transported in a suitable container which can be disinfected or destroyed at the end of the journey. We sell both cardboard and wooden carrying boxes at the Domestic Fowl Trust as you can see in the picture(see our website for details.

If you have large numbers of poultry we also sell poultry crates. These hold 10 to 15 birds and can be disinfected with Virkon at the end of the journey

If the journey is less that twelve hours long you do not need to provide food and water during the journey. The birds will store food and water in their crop but it is essential they have had access to food and water before the journey and on arrival at their destination.

For full details on the Welfare of animals in transport regulations you should visit the Defra site

The instructions are a bit confusing as at one point it says that pets accompanying their owners to shows or people breeding animals as a hobby are exempt even if they make money at it and then later that it does not apply to hobby farmers who are keeping farm animals and poultry. So where does that leave people breeding poultry for showing as the poultry are classed as farm animals. At the Federation show before Christmas the trading standards insisted all the birds had to have animal transport certificates even when transported by their owners as a hobby so we have to err on the safe side and fill in a form when going to shows. If travelling further than 40miles check with your defra before you plan your journey as to whether you need a transport authorisation . I expect this is one law that will vary from county to county and will probably be finalised in a court of law. If transporting birds to or from other states in the EU don't forget that other member states will interpret the directive differently.

Meanwhile back at the Domestic Fowl Trust all the birds had a good New Year although I am not sure what they thought of the fireworks at the local pub It was very noisy but they seemed to take it in their stride with a bright full moon at the moment the cockerels think it is morning and crow at all hours of the night anyway. There are definite signs of spring in that the hens are starting to lay and the cockerels are becoming more active . We start selling hatching eggs on the 1st March so hopefully before that we will have had time to hatch a few ourselves.

Apologies to those who have had problems getting answers on the phone we have had a couple of members of staff off with winter colds which means the rest of us have been running round trying to get everything done.

This is a picture of Transylvannian naked necks. I just added it because it always looks in this weather as though they could do with scarves to keep them warm. They however seem quite happy and don't notice the cold.

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