Enhancing poultry traceability in Western Australia

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Chickens at feeder

Have your say on a proposal to enhance poultry traceability in WA

The Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development (DPIRD) is proposing to enhance traceability of poultry via the same registration system used for livestock.

Have your say on the proposal to require owners of poultry and poultry abattoirs in Western Australia to register with DPIRD and obtain property identification code(s) (PICs) for the properties on which they keep birds.

Background

Australia’s highly developed livestock traceability systems underpin our ability to respond effectively to disease outbreaks and food safety issues. These systems support our biosecurity status and ongoing access to markets.

In WA, consistent with other Australian jurisdictions, owners of livestock (including cattle, sheep, goats, pigs, alpacas, llamas, horses, deer, buffalo and camels) are legally required to register with DPIRD and obtain a PIC for locations where their livestock are kept.

Proposal to enhance traceability

DPIRD proposes to amend legislation to similarly require owners of poultry and poultry abattoir operators to register with DPIRD and obtain a PIC.

The proposed requirement will strengthen traceability by:

  • identifying properties where birds are kept and
  • enabling a formal register to be kept of their locations.

Enhanced traceability will help to protect the poultry sector from food safety and biosecurity risks, maintain access to markets, and ensure DPIRD is able to rapidly communicate information to stakeholders.

Who is affected by the proposed changes?

The proposed changes are targeted to owners of significant numbers of poultry and poultry abattoirs.

Note that the proposed requirement will not affect backyard/hobby poultry owners.

Registration will only be mandatory if:

  • you own 50 or more poultry
  • you own 10 or more emus or ostriches
  • you sell bird meat or eggs (regardless of how many birds you own)
  • you own a poultry abattoir.

The term ‘poultry’ as used in this consultation refers to chickens, turkeys, ducks, geese, guinea fowl, quail, pheasants, partridges, emus and ostriches and domesticated pigeons (such as those kept for breeding, racing, exhibition or competition).

Have your say

DPIRD is requesting stakeholder feedback on the proposal.

Before you provide feedback, please read the consultation paper.

If you need more information before making a submission, you are encouraged to:

To make a submission:

Note: Submissions may be published online at the conclusion of the consultation and may also be cited in a publically available report. Submitters who do not want their name published, or would like their submission to remain confidential, should clearly state this in their submission.

Submissions close on 1 October 2020 at 5pm AWST.

Following the close of the consultation period, DPIRD will assess the feedback, amend the proposal where appropriate and communicate the outcome to stakeholders.

Have your say on a proposal to enhance poultry traceability in WA

The Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development (DPIRD) is proposing to enhance traceability of poultry via the same registration system used for livestock.

Have your say on the proposal to require owners of poultry and poultry abattoirs in Western Australia to register with DPIRD and obtain property identification code(s) (PICs) for the properties on which they keep birds.

Background

Australia’s highly developed livestock traceability systems underpin our ability to respond effectively to disease outbreaks and food safety issues. These systems support our biosecurity status and ongoing access to markets.

In WA, consistent with other Australian jurisdictions, owners of livestock (including cattle, sheep, goats, pigs, alpacas, llamas, horses, deer, buffalo and camels) are legally required to register with DPIRD and obtain a PIC for locations where their livestock are kept.

Proposal to enhance traceability

DPIRD proposes to amend legislation to similarly require owners of poultry and poultry abattoir operators to register with DPIRD and obtain a PIC.

The proposed requirement will strengthen traceability by:

  • identifying properties where birds are kept and
  • enabling a formal register to be kept of their locations.

Enhanced traceability will help to protect the poultry sector from food safety and biosecurity risks, maintain access to markets, and ensure DPIRD is able to rapidly communicate information to stakeholders.

Who is affected by the proposed changes?

The proposed changes are targeted to owners of significant numbers of poultry and poultry abattoirs.

Note that the proposed requirement will not affect backyard/hobby poultry owners.

Registration will only be mandatory if:

  • you own 50 or more poultry
  • you own 10 or more emus or ostriches
  • you sell bird meat or eggs (regardless of how many birds you own)
  • you own a poultry abattoir.

The term ‘poultry’ as used in this consultation refers to chickens, turkeys, ducks, geese, guinea fowl, quail, pheasants, partridges, emus and ostriches and domesticated pigeons (such as those kept for breeding, racing, exhibition or competition).

Have your say

DPIRD is requesting stakeholder feedback on the proposal.

Before you provide feedback, please read the consultation paper.

If you need more information before making a submission, you are encouraged to:

To make a submission:

Note: Submissions may be published online at the conclusion of the consultation and may also be cited in a publically available report. Submitters who do not want their name published, or would like their submission to remain confidential, should clearly state this in their submission.

Submissions close on 1 October 2020 at 5pm AWST.

Following the close of the consultation period, DPIRD will assess the feedback, amend the proposal where appropriate and communicate the outcome to stakeholders.

If you need more information about the proposal to enhance poultry traceability in WA, ask your questions here.

Have a question?

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  • Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Linkedin Email this link

    What will the registration fee be? As a hobby chicken breeder with 35 breeding hens, and numbers of up to 125 birds in main breeding season, it may not be worthwhile continuing.

    Asked about 12 hours ago

    Hello, A registration fee for owning poultry has not yet been determined by DPIRD. The current fee for livestock owners is $76.50 for three years ($25.50 per year), which covers the administrative costs associated with managing the register. 

    DPIRD encourages you to complete the formal online submission form to register your views.

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    Do you need to tag birds Color coded?

    Brock Asked 1 day ago

    Hi Brock, there is no requirement to tag or identify birds under this proposal.

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    We are on a real farm, with a PIC for sheep and cattle, do I use the same PIC or get another specifically for the chooks. And will I need to fill out a waybill everytime I take chooks to markets or sell privately to individuals?

    Lisa Asked 8 days ago

    Hi Lisa, If you are already registered with DPIRD as an owner of livestock for your sheep and cattle then you would have been issued with a PIC. Under this proposal you would use the same PIC for your chooks. All you would need to do is update your livestock owner registration to include poultry. 

    Waybills will not be required for any movement of poultry.

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    Thanks for replying to my question regarding counting chickens, i.e. day old chicks are counted in the 50 total. I would like to propose you increase the number of chickens to 200. I think you will discover and administation nightmare given the rise in popularity of backyard chicken keeping lately, and the rapid fluctuations in numbers.

    Lisa Asked 8 days ago

    Hi Lisa, As you can see in the consultation paper, the threshold number of poultry for registration in other jurisdictions ranges from one (ACT and NT) to 50 (VIC) and 100 (QLD, TAS, NSW). DPIRD encourages you to complete the online submission form and include your comments.

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    We need you to make the number of chickens higher than 50. We are a farm that keeps chickens for bug control and fertilising the ground. We have chickens, ducks and guinea fowl. This total way over 50. We do not sell any produce from our poultry but they are very essential to our farm. Change the number allowed for non commercial farms to 100 and don’t charge a fee. Or add the poultry pic to the cattle/sheep pic so we are not burdened with another fee. We don’t make any money.

    Love my poultry, pasture improvement Asked 3 days ago

    The Department is seeking to find a balance between capturing information necessary for managing biosecurity risk and protecting poultry health while not impacting owners with small numbers of poultry. If you already have a property identification code (PIC) for sheep or cattle then you would not be required to obtain another one.

    Thank you for your comment on how you use your chickens, ducks and guinea fowl. DPIRD encourages you to complete the formal online submission form to register your views.

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    Will the requirement to register also apply to the sale of fertile eggs, not to be sold for eating, regardless of size of flock? If so can you explain why the sale of eggs is a higher risk than the sale of live birds?

    Poultry breeder Asked 12 days ago

    Hi Poultry breeder, Thank you for your question. The proposal does not differentiate between fertile eggs and eggs for eating. DPIRD is seeking to find a balance between capturing information necessary for managing biosecurity risk but not impacting owners with small numbers of poultry. 

    DPIRD encourages you to complete the online submission form on the consultation webpage and include your comments. 

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    We have over 50 mixed poultry which we keep purely for our own purposes. eg meat, eggs, fertilising the land. We do not sell any of the poultry or eggs. Why do we need to register?

    JanetiB Asked 13 days ago

    Hi JanetiB, thanks for your question. 

    Poultry traceability is important to allow DPIRD to contact owners in the event of an emergency disease (such as avian influenza) or other disease outbreaks and to support response activities. 

    In WA, the proposed changes are targeted to owners of significant numbers of poultry and poultry abattoirs. 

    Registration will be mandatory if:

    • you own 50 or more poultry
    • you own 10 or more emus or ostriches
    • you sell bird meat or eggs (regardless of how many birds you own)
    • you own a poultry abattoir.
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    how will we identify birds it micro chip etc And under your current proposal theres a big flaw as you claim traceability is a concern yet if i give away birds i know are being used for meat i dont need to register pretty stupid and if i do give away birds and they say they won't eat it because i already warned them i use budget laying pelllets they go away and who's to blame me or them especially when language is a barrier

    concerned Asked 13 days ago

    Hi Concerned,

    DPIRD will not require bird owners to identify birds via microchip or in any other way under this proposal.

    DPIRD is also not requiring bird owners who give away live birds to register (unless they own 50 or more poultry/10 or more emus/ostriches). It is the responsibility of the new owner of the birds to register if they have 50 or more poultry or 10 or more emus/ostriches.

    If the proposal to register is made law, DPIRD will communicate this to all poultry owners, and ensure that language and other barriers are addressed

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    There is a much loved concept amongst backyard chicken owners called "chicken maths"! We tend not to be very good at counting exactly how many chickens we have, for example, I have 4 hens, each sitting on large clutches of eggs which then hatch about a dozen chicks per hen.....do I have 4 chickens (thats how many I would tell my husband I have) or do I have 4x12=48 plus 4 hens and therefore 52 chickens??? 🤣🤣 At what age does a chicken count as a chicken?

    Lisa Asked 13 days ago

    Hi Lisa, from a DPIRD perspective, chickens count as chickens from birth. So if you are planning to have more than 50 chickens (as you will once the eggs hatch), it would be a requirement to register as an owner under the DPIRD proposal.

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    Good Evening, As we already have a pic no. to sell sheep, can the same one be used to sell eggs.

    Maureen Last Asked 14 days ago

    Hi Maureen,

    Thanks for the question. Under this proposal the existing PIC you have for your sheep will also cover poultry so there would be no need to obtain another PIC. All that would be required is to update your registration details with DPIRD to indicate that you own poultry in addition to sheep.

    Note that if you are selling eggs then you also have requirements under the WA Department of Health legislation (https://ww2.health.wa.gov.au/).