CCM Skipton Auction Mart has welcomed the news that its popular Craven Feather Auction shows and sales of poultry and waterfowl can now resume following the removal of restrictions just announced by Defra, the Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs.

Such gatherings were suspended in late October, 2021, following the UK’s worst ever outbreak of avian influenza, with more than 360 cases across Great Britain, including in a significant number of backyard flocks.

Any remaining restrictions on bird gatherings in England have now been lifted, giving the green light to the mart to reintroduce its Craven Feather Auctions and once again sell all poultry, among them chickens, ducks and geese.

However, in order to comply with the poultry gathering general licence there are certain requirements. While hosts such as CCM must give at least seven days notice before a particular event, all bird keepers - regardless of the size of their flock - must now officially register their birds. Currently, only those who keep 50 or more poultry must do so, limiting the effectiveness of national disease control measures.

In addition, by registering their birds keepers will ensure they receive important updates relevant to them, such as on any local avian disease outbreaks and information on biosecurity rules to help protect their flocks. This is designed to help to manage disease outbreaks and limit any potential spread. Further information on the registration of birds can be found on GOV.UK CCM’s general manager Jeremy Eaton said: “These new measures to better protect the poultry sector from future avian influenza outbreaks are more than welcome as it’s been three years since we were last allowed to stage a poultry fixture. We look forward to seeing breeders, keepers and fanciers old and new flocking back in numbers.”

You could add that registering in the correct manner will provide the vendor with a CPH (county parish holding) number which will be required at the point of entry along with health declaration. Full details are on the Government website and its important that the ability to sell poultry and waterfowl is not jeopardised by bad practice now that restrictions have been lifted They will have that opportunity when Craven Feather Auction shows and sales resume on seasonal Saturdays, firstly on June 8, followed by others on August 31 and December 14, the Christmas highlight.