Livestock registration requirements for poultry, emu and ostrich owners and poultry abattoirs

Page last updated: Wednesday, 6 April 2022 - 9:40am

Owners of 50 or more poultry, or 10 or more emus and/or ostriches are now required to register with the Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development as a livestock owner.  

Poultry, emu and ostrich abattoir operators are also required to register.

Poultry is defined as domestic chickens, turkeys, geese, ducks, guinea fowls, quails, pigeons, pheasants and partridges. The requirement to register applies if you own 50 or more of these birds, in any combination.

Registering as an owner of 50 or more poultry, or 10 or more emus / ostriches, is free until 30 September 2022. Registration is valued at $76.50 and lasts for 3 years. Please note this offer only applies if you do not have any other livestock that would require you to already be registered. If you are already registered, there is no need to take any action until your next renewal when you should add poultry to the list of livestock species on your property.

These new registration requirements have been introduced through amendments to the Biosecurity and Agriculture Management (Identification and Movement of Stock and Apiaries) Regulations 2013.

Why is DPIRD registering poultry, emu and ostrich owners?

All poultry, emus and ostriches are susceptible to emergency diseases such as avian influenza, and can carry bacteria that can cause food illnesses like salmonella.

Most avian diseases spread very quickly as they are transmitted from one bird to another when they come into contact with each other; for example, between neighbouring properties, when coming into contact with wild birds, taken to public areas such as farmers markets or allowed free flight.

The impacts of avian disease outbreaks can be significant. For example, outbreaks of avian influenza in Victoria in 2020 resulted in the deaths of hundreds of thousands of domestic birds, significant response costs for both government and industry, and a loss of income for affected producers.

Registering as an owner of livestock and obtaining a Property Identification Code (PIC) provides DPIRD with a clear picture of where livestock are located and with contact details for their owners. This enables DPIRD to provide notifications of emergency animal diseases, food safety incidents, or any other biosecurity risks so that people can take action to protect their flock. It also allows individual owners in affected areas to be contacted to support the management and rapid tracking of disease spread.

Other States with mandatory registration requirements for poultry, emu and ostrich owners indicated that thresholds of 50 or more poultry and 10 or more emus and/or ostriches are best for achieving a good balance between capturing people with a significant number of poultry for biosecurity purposes, while minimising the burden on backyard poultry owners.

Who needs to register?

Any person or entity (e.g. a business) who owns 50 or more poultry, or 10 or more emus or ostriches (or a combination of the two) at any time, must register with the department as an owner of livestock.

After registering, you will be issued with a Property Identification Code (PIC) for the property where your poultry, emus or ostriches are kept. The PIC indicates who owns the livestock and their location, supporting rapid tracing of livestock in a biosecurity incident.

Poultry abattoirs are also required to register, and will receive a non-farming PIC – this can be done by contacting the Brands Office on email brands.bunbury@dpird.wa.gov.au.

Anyone who sells eggs or poultry meat for human consumption, regardless of how many birds they own is encouraged to register to support notification and tracing for the purposes of food safety.

Already registered as an owner of livestock with a PIC?

If you are already registered with the department as an owner of livestock (cattle, sheep, pigs, horses, deer, goats, camelids, donkeys, camels, buffalo), you do not need to do anything additional at this time however you are encouraged to update your registration to include poultry, emus or ostriches at your next renewal.

If you keep your birds on a different property to the one where you keep your other livestock, you will need to add this property to your registration – this is free and can be done by contacting the Brands office on email brands.bunbury@dpird.wa.gov.au.

Are there any additional requirements? 

Once you have registered, there are no other requirements for poultry owners or others in the poultry industry.

  • You do not need to tag, microchip or in any other way identify your poultry, emus or ostriches.
  • You do not need to record any movements of birds between properties. Movement documents such as waybills are not required.
  • When purchasing poultry, emus or ostriches, there is no requirement for you to confirm that the owner of the birds you are purchasing from is registered.

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