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Bird Gatherings get go ahead

The Scottish Government has this week published a revised bird gatherings general licence, which removes the temporary measure prohibiting poultry, game birds and waterfowl from outside Scotland from attending gatherings.

The new licence, which can be found at and comes into effect immediately, permits all bird gatherings in Scotland with the exception of poultry, waterfowl or game birds originating from within an Avian Influenza Prevention Zone (AIPZ).  All birds species from any part of the UK outside a disease control zone are permitted to attend gatherings in Scotland, subject to the conditions set out in the licence schedule.

AIPZs continue to apply across all of Northern Ireland, and certain areas of England in Lancashire, Cumbria and Merseyside.  Birds from these areas may not attend gatherings in Scotland.  An Animal & Plant Health Agency risk assessment concluded that these areas of England remain at heightened risk of Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza H5N8 virus circulating in the environment or wild waterfowl.  This follows the two recent and three previous outbreaks of H5N8 in domestic birds in that part of the country, as well as several findings in wild birds.  The risk for the rest of Great Britain has been assessed as “low” (outbreaks are rare but can occur occasionally”). 

The English Prevention Zone declaration published by Defra lists the specific regions where the AIPZ remains in force, and provides a map on page 6 of the pdf (available at:

Further information about the conditions of the revised Scottish general licence is available via our online FAQ.


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