Enhancing poultry traceability in Western Australia

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Chickens at feeder

Consultation on a proposal to enhance traceability of poultry in WA is now closed.

The Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development (DPIRD) thanks the WA poultry industry and poultry owners who provided feedback on a proposal to enhance traceability of poultry in WA by requiring owners to register with DPIRD and obtain property identification code(s) (PICs) for the properties on which they keep birds.

Under the proposal, 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).

Consultation process

Consultation on the proposal opened on 3 September and closed on 1 October 2020.

Before making a submission, stakeholders were asked to read the consultation paper and frequently asked questions.

Stakeholders were able to gain further information via the Questions section below or by emailing animalbiosecurity@dpird.wa.gov.au before making a submission using the online submission form.

What happens next

Following the close of the consultation period, DPIRD will assess the feedback, amend the proposal where appropriate and communicate the outcome to stakeholders. Updates will also be posted on this page.

Consultation on a proposal to enhance traceability of poultry in WA is now closed.

The Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development (DPIRD) thanks the WA poultry industry and poultry owners who provided feedback on a proposal to enhance traceability of poultry in WA by requiring owners to register with DPIRD and obtain property identification code(s) (PICs) for the properties on which they keep birds.

Under the proposal, 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).

Consultation process

Consultation on the proposal opened on 3 September and closed on 1 October 2020.

Before making a submission, stakeholders were asked to read the consultation paper and frequently asked questions.

Stakeholders were able to gain further information via the Questions section below or by emailing animalbiosecurity@dpird.wa.gov.au before making a submission using the online submission form.

What happens next

Following the close of the consultation period, DPIRD will assess the feedback, amend the proposal where appropriate and communicate the outcome to stakeholders. Updates will also be posted on this page.

CLOSED: This discussion has concluded.

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

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    What’s involved in when eggs are sold?

    Haydz asked 2 months ago

    Hi Haydz, under this proposal poultry owners who sell eggs, regardless of how many birds they own, will be required to register with DPIRD and obtain a property identification code for the properties on which they keep birds. 

    DPIRD encourages you to make a submission to register your views about the proposal. The consultation closes at 5pm today.

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    What happens when owners, and their birds, gather at events like poultry shows. Some participants would be registered, because they meet the threshold, while those below the threshold won't be. Yet these birds are at high risk of cross infection because of their close proximity in a confined area as well as being handled by the same judge. As waybills are not required how would tracing be managed if an incident stemmed from such an event?

    Ken asked 2 months ago

    Hi Ken, thanks for your question. The current proposal does not require waybills for movement of birds. Biosecurity guidelines for bird event organisers and participants can be found on the DPIRD website. These guidelines include maintaining a record of birds that attend the event to allow for tracing if required.

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    How would a citizen who has an over production of eggs, and sells them for $5/dozen casually to their friends, be affected by the proposed changes? What is the main goal of this traceability and how do we encourage people to come forward, regardless of the size of their coup?

    Francesca Gaspar asked 2 months ago

    Hi Francesca,

    Under the proposal if you are selling eggs you would be required to register with DPIRD. The aim of this proposal is to strengthen our traceability arrangements in order to protect our biosecurity. The ability to respond to disease outbreaks such as avian influenza and communicate with poultry owners during these responses would be enhanced if DPIRD has a register of poultry owners and where the birds are kept. 

    If this proposal is adopted, a communication plan will be implemented to ensure poultry owners are aware of the requirements.

    DPIRD encourages you to make a submission to register your views about the proposal.

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    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 2 months 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 2 months 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 3 months 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 3 months 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 2 months 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 3 months 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 3 months 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.