Above: a grass parakeet and a conure at the World Show in Holland this year. Fanciers who transport their own birds to other shows on the Continent have to deal with a shortage of clear advice concerning paperwork. This APHA advice is unlikely to be the last word. Both photos: Donald Skinner-Reid


IN THE face of continued uncertainty over the UK’s membership of the EU, it has been difficult to obtain clear advice from the government concerning arrangements for exhibiting birds in EU countries outside the UK.

By way of a test case, Cage & Aviary Birds contributor Colin O’Hara contacted the Animal & Plant Health Agency (APHA) by email this month. We here reproduce Mr O’Hara’s email and the APHA response, for the benefit of exhibitors.


The enquiry
To: SM-APHA-Carlisle, SSC (APHA) <SSC.Carlisle@apha.gov.uk>
Subject: Showing birds in mainland Europe
I am a breeder of small parakeets and wish to show my birds in Holland in mid-August. I am a hobby breeder and wish to take my birds to the show and then bring them back home.
Could you please advise what is the correct procedure to do this and tell me which forms I need to fill in to make this possible?
Colin O’Hara.

The APHA response
Birds going into the EU for a show should have their premises of origin Balai-registered (a form is attached above for this), along with an owner’s declaration stating they are healthy and fit to travel. In addition you should obtain a document stating your participation in the show from the organisers and ensure that you have the original or a copy with you when travelling to Holland and back to the UK.
Diane Edwards,
Administration Officer,
Live Animal Exports,
Animal & Plant Health Agency (APHA).
 Contact information:
Tel: 03000 200 301
Email: liveanimalexports.Carlisle@apha.gov.uk
Website: www.gov.uk/apha
Address: APHA, Centre for International Trade, Eden Bridge House, Lowther St, Carlisle CA3 8DX.

Where to get the form
You can download a copy of the registration form here.


C&AB comment
The “Balai directive” is a piece of EU legislation (EU Directive 92/65/EEC), and the APHA response does not advise on whether it will be incorporated into UK law after Brexit.

The directive relates to the import and export of various animals (including birds other than poultry) between EU member states, for purposes of trade – however, the notes to the form make clear that “‘trade’ is defined by the Directive as being simply the movement of animals between one Member State and another. Although the word ‘trade’ in general implies a commercial transaction, the exchange of payment in any form is not a necessary element of ‘trade’ in the context of the Balai Directive.” So the movement of birds for exhibition purposes only is classified as “trade” under this legislation.

I suggest that, until more up-to-date information comes from APHA in the event of Brexit actually taking place, exhibitors should take with them the following paperwork when transporting birds to and from shows in the other EU countries,:

1. The completed “Balai” registration form. (The main point of this document appears to be to establish the UK address where the birds are held.)

2. Owner’s declaration that the birds are healthy and fit to travel.

3. Confirmation of your entry from the show organisers.

Readers are encouraged to share their experiences and any advice they may have been given about taking exhibition birds abroad – Ed.