Above: ‘Since 1 January 2021, captive birds that are transported to the EU or NI from GB are subject to 3rd country animal health import conditions…,’ is the advice from the UK chief veterinary officer, Christine Middlemiss. If a fancier wishes to send birds to a Continental show, for example the World Show, the same rules apply for export of livestock (above: Stan Bolton pictured at the 2013 World Show in Belgium)


“THIRD COUNTRY” RULES are to apply to birds sent for sale or exhibition from Britain to the EU – and that includes stock bound for Northern Ireland.

New DEFRA paperwork confirms that the “border in the Irish Sea” is now a reality for movement of birds. As a result, readers fear that the long-established sale of surplus stock from the British mainland to Northern Ireland will be stifled.

The latest advice from DEFRA also confirms that all bird consignments from Britain to the EU are classed as “exports”, even if they are to be exhibited and brought back by or to their owners. Under the “new norm”, this means that such birds will require the same level of inspection and other paperwork as large-scale commercial livestock.

Fanciers who send birds to Continental shows, such as the World Show or Golden Ring, will need to have their breeding premises inspected and approved by APHA.

To do this, fanciers will need to register their premises as an APHA-approved breeding establishment. (A cost is not specified.) Next, APHA will need to inspect the premises AND an approved vet will be needed for specific health checks. (It is not yet clear whether a cost will be involved.) Further, a requirement of the Export Health Certificate is that a vet will need to visit every time that birds are to be transferred to Northern Ireland or the EU.

Summarised below is the advice from Christine Middlemiss, the UK chief veterinary officer, on the export of captive birds:

  • The breeding set-up must be clearly demarcated, separated from surroundings and free from bird flu, Newcastle disease and Chlamydophila psittaci.
  • The fancier must have adequate experience of breeding birds.
  • The set-up must have approved quarantine facilities, procedures for adding birds and means for catching, confining and isolating birds.
  • An APHA-approved veterinarian must be appointed to ensure compliance with the animal health and welfare requirements, appropriate disease surveillance and control of zoonosis.
  • Records must be kept for 10 years, including details of place of origin and quarantine observations for introduced birds and destinations where birds were moved to. Records must include all laboratory test results, veterinary records (disease and treatments) and post-mortem results.

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