Great Britain’s Poultry Register now has over 250 million birds on it.

The register was introduced last year as part of DEFRA’s programme of measures to help reduce the impact of an outbreak of avian influenza.

During the first year of the register 23,791 premises have signed up, holding a total of 258,659,920 birds .

In England , Scotland and Wales poultry keepers must register by law if they own or are responsible for a poultry premises with 50 or more birds.

Poultry keepers with under 50 birds are also encouraged to register voluntarily.

Legal requirements have now been introduced whereby poultry keepers are required to notify DEFRA of any significant changes in the birds that they keep. This means that the register is kept fully up to date.

In its first year, the register has allowed DEFRA to communicate directly with poultry keepers, quickly and effectively.

Identifying where poultry are kept means that if a disease outbreak occurs, resources can be targeted where they are most needed. The database will be another safeguard to help identify an outbreak and limit its spread.

Registration is simple and forms are available on the DEFRA website or by calling freephone: 0800 634 1112.