UK Requiring Chicken Owners to Register Their Birds or Risk Going to Prison


(Ken Silva, Headline USA) Second Amendment advocates are known for saying that a firearm-registration requirement would be the first step towards confiscation.

Does the same apply for chickens? Residents of the UK could find out soon enough, as an impending new rule requires them to register their chickens by Oct. 1 or face up to a £5,000 fine ($6,350).

“Keepers will have to provide contact details, how many birds from which species are kept, as well as where and for what purpose,” The Telegraph reported last week.

“Owners who fail to register their birds face a maximum fine of £5,000 or six months in prison, although penalties depend on an assessment of harm caused.”

According to The Telegraph, the new rule is aimed to limit the spread of Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza, which has led to the culling of millions of poultry, and the death of an estimated 50,000 wild birds since 2021 in the biggest outbreak in the UK.

“The Government said that registering keepers would ensure they receive important updates on local avian disease outbreaks and information on biosecurity rules to help protect their flocks,” the newspaper reported.

However, the rule did not have democratic support. According to The Telegraph, a recent consultation found that  just 13% of respondents supported the change to registration for one bird or more. Previously, only those who owned 50 or more chickens were required to register them.

Jane Howorth, the chief executive of the British Hen Welfare Trust, which rehomes commercial laying hens, told The Telegraph that the new rule discourage people from rescuing chickens.

“There has been an outpouring of frustration that people will have to comply with another level of bureaucracy,” she said.

“It could impact the number of birds that are saved from slaughter because some people do not want to go through this bureaucratic registration process.”

Others were more conspiratorial, suggesting that registration requirements will lead to vaccine mandates and more.

Ken Silva is a staff writer at Headline USA. Follow him at


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