Cotswold Pheasant and Poultry Club

Important Announcements that affect poultry keepers, including updates on disease risk.

NOTE: This registration affects ALL poultry keepers, regardless of how small your flock is. Click here to go to DEFRA website
for full details.


Restrictions on Movement of birds between Ireland and mainland UK

On the 31st December 2020, the Brexit transition period came to an end. As a result a border down the Irish Sea came into effect and with-it customs and movement changes between the mainland UK, Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland.
This policy has had a particularly harsh impact upon our own fancy. The new rules mean that birds entering the UK to be exhibited or sold will be subject to:
• Blood tests for salmonella
• A full EU Heath Check
• Any birds returning to the Republic of Ireland or to Northern Ireland would need to spend 21 days in the host country before returning home.

Similar rule changes will affect dogs and other animals and hobbies.  

The PCGB recognizes as well as anyone the huge contribution that fanciers from Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland make to our hobby through the entries, wealth of knowledge and craic they bring with them to our classic shows and events every year, as well as to this club!
Many of you are leading figures in our hobby, and of course plenty of you have seen considerable success over the years, most recently when Northern Irish fancier Patricia Swandel won Overall Show Champion at the Federation Show with her Barnevelder bantam female.
We know that our members and the wider fancy will want to join us in coming together in support of keeping our fancy together.

Therefore, we have joined together with Fancy Fowl Magazine
and set-up a petition that will be presented to the UK Government, making the case for these changes to be revoked, while also making clear the impact they could have on pure, rare and traditional breeds of poultry in the UK if left in place.
We are also continuing our discussions with the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, and will be asking to contribute to an inquiry launched by the UK Parliament's Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Select Committee.
Alongside the petition, we have also set-up two area specific surveys, one to fanciers in Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland, and another to fanciers across England, Scotland and Wales, to collate data which will help the fancy to present the best possible case to Government.
This is an important moment for our hobby, and the Poultry Club of Great Britain’s team hope that you will join us in signing the petition by clicking the link below which will take you to the website for Parliament petitions.

Please feel free to share this email with your fellow fanciers, family and friends to sign and show their support too.

Review rules for the movement of poultry between GB and NI/RoI - Petitions (

Yours in the fancy,
The PCGB Board of Trustees and Fancy Fowl Team.

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  • Risk of Newcastle disease in the UK
  • Buying and using rodenticides -  current legislation

The Animal & Plant Health Agency warn of increased risk of Newcastle Disease in the UK.

Following recent outbreaks of Newcastle Disease (ND) in Belgium and other European countries the Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA) has advised that the risk of disease has increased from low to medium.
All poultry and captive bird keepers are urged to enhance their biosecurity and vigilance, by monitoring their birds for signs of disease, and reporting suspicion immediately to their private vet and to APHA. See, for further advice.
Poultry species that are affected by Newcastle Disease may show the following clinical signs:
• Respiratory distress, such as gaping beak, coughing, sneezing, gurgling and rattling
• Nervous behaviour, such as tremors, paralysis and twisting of the neck
• Unusually watery faeces that are yellowish-green in colour
• Depression and a lack of appetite
• Produce fewer eggs which could be misshapen and soft-shelled
Government has not imposed any restrictions on bird keepers in response to the findings of ND in Belgium. We continue to monitor the situation across the UK and the rest of Europe carefully.
Level H1 County Hall
Spetchley Road
Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA)

Buying and using rodenticides in the UK

New rules have now come into force restricting the sale of rodenticides (rat and mouse poison).
What the new law means
In 2016 new legislation known as ‘The UK Rodenticide Stewardship Regime’ came into force, limiting the sale of many rodenticides (rat and mouse poisons) to people who are in possession of a certificate indicating that they are competent to use these substances.
What follows is my summary of the situation, but for full details and the technical and legal aspects please refer to the many websites that you will find if you do an internet search using the term rodenticide.
What does the new law say?
This new legislation states that packs of rodenticide which carry the label ‘For professional use only’ can only be sold to a member of the public who is able to produce the relevant certificate of competence. This label is found on most of the larger tubs of poison of the type that poultry keepers, smallholders and similar will probably have been in the habit of buying. Only very small tubs or other small amounts of product, such as mouse poison blocks, do not carry this label. This means that if you need to regularly eradicate rodents, especially rats, you may not be able to obtain the necessary type and quantity of poison that you need.
Why has this law been introduced?
The driving force behind the introduction of this new law was concern about the increasingly high levels of poison found in a number of species of wild birds and mammals, with barn owls being particularly badly affected. The level of poison in these non-target species may be sufficient to kill them directly, or it may simply reduce their fitness and ability to breed, ultimately resulting in death and a decline in overall numbers.
There are two main ways in which non-target species can absorb poison. Mammals such as voles and field mice will take and eat the poisoned bait, whereas in predatory species such as foxes and barn owls or scavengers such as red kites, poisoning can occur indirectly either by them catching poisoned rats and mice that have not yet died or by eating dead rodents. These may be rats and mice that we have deliberately poisoned, or they may be wild animals that have found and eaten the bait as described above. Rodents that have been poisoned may behave erratically and move slowly so they make an easier target for predators than a healthy animal. Bodies of rats that have been poisoned may be found up to 100 metres away from their nests, and so make for easy pickings by scavengers.
The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) who were instrumental in introducing this law (together with the Campaign for Responsible Rodenticide Use (CRRU)) have warned that if, in the next few years, they do not see a significant reduction in the level of residues from these poisons found in wildlife, that even more stringent measures will be introduced to further limit the use and availability of rodenticides. This means it is up to all of us, farmers, gamekeepers, poultry breeders and others, to use these products more wisely and more frugally.
I need to control rats and mice on my property, how can I buy poison that works?
In the short term, if you are part of a Farm Assured scheme you will be able to continue to buy rodenticides as before. However this is just an interim concession that the NFU were able to negotiate, further information is available from the NFU and other websites. If you are not part of the above scheme, or you do not already hold an appropriate qualification or certificate in the use of rodenticides, you will need to take a relevant course and a test in order to become certified. You will need to show your certificate at the point of purchase.
A good website for details of accepted qualifications and available courses is They also provide online training courses which lead to a suitable LANTRA qualification. The course itself is free, but you will need to pay £60 to take the online exam (multiple choice questions) and obtain the certificate. If you prefer you can take a course at a training establishment. For details go to the LANTRA website .
I know how to use rat poison so why do I have to take a course?
The main aim of the course is to enable users to develop a strategy for dealing with rodents that reduces the amount of poison used. This in turn reduces the amount that goes into the wider environment including wild animals and birds and occasionally into domestic animals. By using a carefully thought out approach, which includes understanding rodent behaviour, cleaning up and changing the environment to one they are less comfortable with, the use of trapping, and other possible methods of eradication such as dogs, users should see a reduction in pest numbers before starting poisoning and so less poison will be required. The course also teaches the most effective locations and methods of baiting and poisoning.
A further concern is the number of rodents that are now showing resistance to currently available rodenticides. By using less of these products we can help slow down the spread of resistance.