Poultry owners are being reminded that they have less than two months to register their flocks on the national Poultry Register.
The warning comes as bird flu hits the headlines again, because of the deaths of two children in Turkey.
Junior DEFRA minister Lord Bach said the Great Britain Poultry Register was essential to prepare for any outbreak of avian flu.
“Of course we hope our poultry flocks stay disease-free but we cannot ignore the risk.
“The register will mean we can build up a detailed picture of our flocks, their location and their size and this means we will be able to respond effectively in the event of an outbreak.”
Anyone who has more than 50 birds needs to register them with DEFRA by 28 February.
Owners can get a registration form by downloading a copy from DEFRA’s website.
The register is supported by the National Farmers Union, the British Poultry Council and the National Gamekeepers Organisation.