Animal Health and Welfare

Avian Influenza (Bird Flu) Prevention Zone Declared in Response to Spread of H5N8 in Europe

UPDATE - 10th May 2017

Amended bird gatherings general licence

 As announced last week SG intends to allow gatherings of poultry, waterfowl and game birds in Scotland from 15 May.  The amended general licence is attached, and is now available online.  The licence permits shows from 15 May, provided that the Animal Plant & Health Agency (APHA) have been notified 7 days in advance – for shows taking place on 15 May this means that APHA must be notified on Monday 8 May at the latest. 

The updated general licence includes some new requirements for organisers of a gathering, including:

 Poultry, waterfowl and game birds cannot be brought to gatherings from outside Scotland

  • Any poultry attending a gathering must be inspected by a poultry expert designated by the event organiser (eg a competition judge or experienced keeper) before they are allowed on site
  • The organiser must have a detailed contingency plan for dealing with a notifiable avian disease outbreak at the event, including isolating affected birds on the premises until a veterinary inspector had provided further instructions

 The full list of requirements can be found on the licence.  Further information can be found at

A driver behind these amendments is the recent identification of Avian Influenza in two backyard flocks in Lancashire.  At present, it is believed that these outbreaks are contained, but any wider spread throughout the UK might require the Scottish Government to review the licensing conditions.

 Anyone who suspects an animal may be affected by a notifiable disease must report it to their local Animal Health & Welfare Officer on 01546 605519 or send an e-mail to


Chinese (sky) lantern and helium balloons

Argyll and Bute Council has joined other local authorities and organisations such as the National Farmers Union Scotland (NFUS) and the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service in its concerns about the release of 'Sky' or 'Chinese' lanterns and helium-filled balloons, and has approved a recommendation to ban the release of helium filled balloons and Chinese style lanterns from council land and property. You can find out more on our Advice on sky lanterns and helium balloons page

* If you transport animals and your Transporter Authorisation has expired you may be committing an offence - see the AHVLA notice or the DEFRA website for further information *

Since 1st October 2016 the process for renewal of Type 1 Transporter Authorisations has changed and authorisations are no longer renewed automatically. Instead, transporters must submit an application for renewal of their Type 1 authorisations. Find out more here

Argyll and Bute Council’s Animal Health Service is responsible for carrying out the Council’s duties in relation to the Animal Health Act 1981 and other associated legislation in relation to Animal Health and Welfare.

Animal Health and Welfare Officers can advise on orders and regulations relevant to Animal Health and Welfare.

Current Concerns

Please see below an update on issues arising:

Animal by-products - December 2015

Animal Health and Welfare Role

The principal function of the Animal Health and Welfare Section is: -

a)     to prevent the introduction and control the spread of contagious diseases, including some which may constitute a risk to human health (e.g. Anthrax, Rabies and Tuberculosis), and

b)    ensuring the welfare needs of animals and birds are met

We do this by:

Visiting livestock markets

Officers visit livestock markets to;

  • ensure high welfare standards are maintained for the livestock in the market and during transportation to and from the market;
  • monitor compliance with bio-security rules that are in place to reduce the risk of any potential spread of disease;
  • ensure the livestock at the market are correctly identified and are moved with the correct paperwork;
  • Look for any sign of disease.

Carry out transit checks


  • stop (with the support of the police )and inspect vehicles transporting animals to ensure that high welfare standards are maintained for animals during their journey;
  • ensure that the vehicles are constructed and used correctly for the transportation of the appropriate species of animal;
  • ensure that animals are correctly identified and are moved with the correct paperwork. 

Visiting livestock holdings

Officers will carry out an inspection of and provide advice and assistance on:

  • farm livestock records;
  • veterinary medicine records;
  • animal movement licences and passports;
  • livestock identification;
  • disposal of livestock carcases;
  • livestock vehicles – construction and cleanliness.

Other areas of work

This includes

  • Monitoring movements of pigs;
  • Investigation of complaints in relation to animal health and welfare;
  • Helping to maintain Contingency Plans which when deployed assist in the control of diseases such as Rabies and Foot and Mouth Disease;
  • Investigation of any import and export of animals alleged to be in breach of regulations;
  • Visits to premises which are subject to license conditions such as zoos and premises keeping animals listed as “dangerous wild animals” as requested by Environmental Health;
  • Providing advice and assistance on Animal Health and Welfare Legislation.