Brexit and Movement of Birds between UK and EU

Join The Parrot Society UK


May 2021 Update: Since the transition period for leaving the EU came to an end on 31st December 2020, there have been significant changes to the requirements for moving live birds between the UK and the EU and vice versa. As far as CITES-registered species are concerned, previously published information still applies, as per these leaflets - Leaflet 2021 - CITES Brexit leaflet

In general, the import and export of parrots between the UK and the EU has become much more complex. All bird movements will require an Export Health Certificate, signed by a veterinarian. See Import of Captive Birds  One of the requirements on this certificate is that "The birds have been kept in a breeding establishment approved by the competent authority for that purpose on the territory of the exporting country for at least 21 days, or since hatching". The full document is reproduced hereImport of Captive Birds
This poses serious problems for UK parrot keepers, as very few (if any) have a currently registered breeding establishment. Larger dealers and importers are taking steps to achieve such registration, but what about smaller hobbyist breeders? Creating a syndicate of like-minded enthusiasts may allow them to join forces to achieve such a result. Christine Middlemiss, current UK Chief Veterinary Officer, writes - "The Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA) has been given the responsibility from the Central Competent Authority to inspect and approve breeding establishments if in compliance with Annex XIX of Commission Delegated Regulation (EU) 2020/692. The conditions governing approval are summarised below:

  • The breeding establishment must be clearly demarcated, separated from surroundings and free from Avian Influenza, Newcastle Disease, and Chlamydophila psittaci (Psittacosis).
  • The person responsible for the breeding establishment must have adequate experience of breeding birds.
  • The breeding establishment must have approved quarantine facilities, procedures for adding birds to the collection, and and adequate means for catching, confining and isolating birds.
  • Appoint a veterinarian, approved by APHA, to ensure compliance with the animal health and welfare requirements, appropriate disease surveillance and control of zoonoses.
  • Records must be kept, for 10 years, of all the birds present in the breeding establishment, with details of place of origin and quarantine observations for introduced birds, and places of destination for birds moved off. These records must include all laboratory test results, veterinary records (disease and treatments), and post-mortem results."

These requirements are clearly very stringent, and will be difficult to achieve for many parrot-keepers. PSUK trustees have received several communications from members and non-members requesting that 'something be done about this'.

The Parrot Society UK's response is as follows:

This situation has arisen as a result of the United Kingdom leaving the European Union, for better or for worse. These are now legal requirements for import/export between the two groups, and we cannot change the law. We can, however, (and do already) make representations on behalf of our members to Defra/CITES.
Nearly all the species and sub-species available across the EU are also available in the UK, as are hand-reared birds. Members of PSUK regularly deal with each other to exchange their birds, and will facilitate contact with like-minded breeders. The additional difficulties of dealing with EU birds will have the effect of increasing the value of UK birds and ensuring that they are better cared for. Surely a win-win situation?
This is a dynamic situation, and the Parrot Society UK will remain involved in meetings with appropriate organisations to report the feelings of its members, and to ensure that the welfare of parrots remains paramount.