Above: Walkers’ 18 vehicles operate under 24-hour licences and are fully NSF-approved
WALKERS EUROPEAN EXPRESS Services in Dudley is reporting that, despite the lockdown, it’s business as usual for bird collections and deliveries.
Overseas transport has ceased for the time being, but the number of consignments in the UK is nearly double the usual for this time of year, according to courier company owner Mark Walker.
He told Cage & Aviary Birds: “When this [lockdown] started, I spoke to DEFRA, I contacted the Royal Pigeon Society and we had a letter from Department of Transport, and they all said that we can carry on trading.
“We have all the right licences and 18 vans travelling throughout the UK. All our vans operate under 24-hour licences, not the standard eight hours, and all our vehicles are passed by the NSF for airflow and temperature control. Our customers get a VAT receipt, a reference number, and all our vans are tracked.
“We pick up on a Wednesday, and deliver on Thursday,” continued Mr Walker.
Lockdown has proved a busy time for couriers in the absence of bird auctions and sales, but precautions are in place. Mr Walker explained: “For pick-ups, we ring the night before and give them an approximate time, then 10 minutes before we arrive, we ring again. They put the birds out on the drive and we collect them. For dropping off, we do the same and leave the birds on the drive. Once we see that they’ve been picked up, we drive off.”
No signature is required during lockdown. “It’s pretty straightforward to keep a distance and it’s all working really well,” Mr Walker added.
“A lot of customers already have boxes we’ve previously supplied to them. We have designed our own 4-ply, sturdy pigeon boxes and we give them to the customers for free. Our cage-bird boxes are made to our specification too, and are wooden with built-in perches and drinkers, and these are supplied at cost.”
● Bookings can be made using the simple online form at: www.walkerseurotransport.co.uk/livestock
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