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Poultry exports

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Compartmentalisation is a scheme open to poultry breeding companies in Great Britain.

British poultry breeding companies have been severely affected by three outbreaks of Avian Influenza (AI) since February 2007. The UK industry estimates that breeding poultry trade is worth some £200 million per annum, of which £130 million is attributed to non EU countries. They estimate losses of between 10% and 40% of their sales value due to trade bans imposed following these outbreaks. The UK became officially free of AI on 20 November 2008, following the June 2008 outbreak, but trade continued to be disrupted long after that. The sector wants to minimise the impact of future disease outbreaks.

Compartmentalisation is a concept recognised by OIE (World Organisation for Animal Health) which allows companies to gain official approval based on strict biosecurity measures. In the event of a disease outbreak they could, theoretically, resume trade with those third countries that have ‘signed up’ to the scheme. The extent to which third countries will be willing to ‘sign up’ and, during a disease outbreak, keep trade as open as we anticipate, is as yet untested. This is a voluntary scheme.

Please see the attached application forms and guidance which provide the poultry industry with an option to resume trade in the event of an avian disease outbreak.

Poultry Health Scheme

A revised Poultry Health Scheme Handbook was published in September 2013.

The handbook provides detailed information on membership to the Poultry Health Scheme (PHS).  

You must be a member of the Poultry Health Scheme (external link), if you wish to:

  • export more than 20 birds or hatching eggs to another EU member state
  • sell birds or eggs to other Poultry Health Scheme members
  • export to certain third countries that require compliance with European Council Directive 90/539/EEC.

The handbook and application form can be found at the above link.