Toggle mobile menu visibility

View full notice

Notice: Do you need help with your benefits?

Bird keeper prosecuted

Image of a chicken

15 February 2024

Image of a chicken
Failing to house captive poultry when an All-Wales Avian Influenza Protection Zone was in place has cost a north Powys man over £2,700 after they were prosecuted by the county council.

Alastair Meikle of Gardd Afon, Tafolwern, Llanbrynmair was prosecuted by Powys County Council's Animal Health Team for the offence.

The defendant, who failed to attend Llandrindod Wells Magistrates Court on Wednesday 14 February, was charged for failing to comply with the requirements of the relevant Declaration of an All-Wales Avian Influenza Prevention Zone and an Article 82 Notice issued by an authorised person, requiring him to house captive poultry.

This was contrary to Articles 6 and 76 of the Avian Influenza and Influenza of Avian Origin in Mammals (Wales) (No.2) Order 2006 and Sections 73 and 75 of the Animal Health Act 1981.

The court heard that despite the poultry housing order being in place since 2 December, 2022, the defendant had not housed his poultry. Meikle was advised by council officers of the requirements to his poultry on several occasions between 15 December, 2022 and 8 February, 2023 - both in writing and in person.

When visited by council officers, the defendant was threatening and verbally abusive towards them and claimed that he had not consented to the relevant legislation and therefore did not intend to comply with it, the court was told.

Meikle had been repeatedly made aware of the requirement to house or enclose all captive poultry on his premises but failed to comply with the requirements of the notice while there was a Wales-wide protection zone in place to prevent the spread of Avian Influenza.

Outbreaks of Avian Influenza were confirmed in Powys including one around 15 miles away from the defendant's address at the time of their non-compliance. The court was told that this non-compliance with the housing order continued until the date the order was lifted in July 2023.

Meikle was found guilty in his absence and was fined £660, ordered to pay £1,820 costs and a victim surcharge of £264.

Cllr Richard Church, Cabinet Member for a Safer Powys, said: "The introduction of the rigorous biosecurity measures was to protect poultry and captive birds from avian influenza and it was important that all bird keepers in Wales followed these to protect their birds and prevent the spread of the disease.

"The defendant's continued non-compliance and total disregard for the notice and biosecurity measures meant that he put his flock, as well as the flock of other bird keepers, at risk and increased the risk of the disease spreading.

"When it was found that he was not complying, our officers rightly took the breach seriously and acted, which has resulted in this successful prosecution."