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Hatchery Designation Q & A: November 2022

What is hatchery designation?

• If your hatchery is granted AI hatchery designation it means that APHA/DEFRA are happy that a certain level of biosecurity is in place to prevent the spread of AI via/through your hatchery if it were to fall within a bird flu controlled zone (either the 3km PZ of the 10km SZ)

Why do I need hatchery designation?

• If your hatchery falls under a bird flu zone then only with a hatchery designation can you accept eggs and send out chicks to other sites once you have applied and received a licence from DEFRA. Or IF eggs are allowed in from France during a bird flu outbreak they might (depending upon various agreements) be able to be imported and only go to designated hatcheries.

What is the process of application?

• Comply with the guidance below, fill in the forms and then send them to APHA. APHA will then send out a vet to confirm everything is in place and inspect everything. If said vet is happy that all the rules have been complied with then a designation will be granted.

Do I need to re-apply every year?

• Yes, you will need to reapply each year and a visit will be required.

What is a hatchery designation activation process?

• Your designation only becomes “active” once the owner has contacted APHA and requested it be activated after the site enters into a bird flu control zone.


The below guidance has been created based on DEFRA/APHA EDO283 – List of Conditions for Designation and EXD200(AI)(E) – Application for Designation documents and conversational guidance with APHA.

As with all guidance there is no guarantee that if your site complies with all of below that Hatchery designation is 100% guaranteed, however following this advice will give you the best possible chance of being granted designation status.

There are 4 main concepts surrounding hatchery designation which have helped create the more detailed schedule of conditions below, these are:

1. The hatchery should be a separate epidemiological operation with separate access.
2. The hatchery staff should be dedicated to the hatchery only and not working with live poultry.
3. All equipment used in the hatchery should be for hatchery use only and never used on the main rearing/laying farm.
4. There should be no livestock within an approximate 150-200m distance.

The above concepts are key areas that should be thought about in detail before applying for hatchery designation. If these concepts can not be realistically reached then it is highly unlikely that your hatchery would be granted designation.

Detailed conditions of designation when status is NOT activated:

1. the use of disinfectants approved under the Diseases of Poultry Order – knowledge that the disinfectant used at the correct dose is approved by DEFRA.
2. compliance of supplier premises with conditions as listed in Annex 1 of Application for Designation of a Hatchery (EXD200(AI))– a written agreement between the hatchery and egg supplier that certain conditions listed below are met during an AI designation activation.
3. the collection of second grade eggs by the hatchery – only collect good eggs which will be placed and therefore do not “grade eggs” at the hatchery.
4. the direct movement of hatching eggs from the supplier premises to the hatchery – eggs must come directly from the farm and not via a 3rd party premises.

Detailed conditions of designation when the hatchery is ACTIVATED:

1. These conditions are listed on the EXD200 (AI)(E) application for designation form.
a. Annex 1 – states conditions for the hatchery and the farms supplying the hatchery.
b. Annex 2 – states conditions that are likely to be required for movement of hatching eggs during an outbreak of high path bird flu.