Protect your poultry from avian diseases and register as a poultry keeper

Are you planning on keeping chickens for the summer? In order to prevent avian influenza and other animal diseases from spreading, it is important that the authorities know where poultry is kept. Keeping even a few chickens requires registration as a poultry keeper. Influenza viral strains fatal to birds are currently found all over Europe, and the risk of avian influenza in Finland is great.
Keeping even a few chickens requires registration as a poultry keeper.  Photo: Helsingin kaupunki
Keeping even a few chickens requires registration as a poultry keeper. Photo: Helsingin kaupunki

Mass avian deaths must be reported to the Environmental Services veterinarian

Many instances of avian influenza have been found in water birds’ wintering grounds in Europe. Last year, several cases of mass deaths of wild birds due to avian influenza occurred in Finland, and we are once again preparing for mass deaths this year.

Any symptoms indicative of avian influenza in poultry or mass deaths of wild birds in Helsinki must be reported to the City of Helsinki Environmental Services supervising veterinarian, who is available during office hours. Outside office hours, the report may be submitted to the Rescue Department. The definition of a mass death of wild birds is the death of two or more swan, five or more other water birds or ten other birds. Individual dead birds of prey should be reported to the authorities, but other individual dead birds do not need to be reported.

You should avoid touching dead birds without gloves. You can dispose of an individual dead bird by placing it in mixed waste in a plastic bag.

Preparing for avian influenza

The restriction on keeping poultry outside put into place each spring will be valid until late May. The restriction can be continued if necessary, meaning that you should monitor Finnish Food Authority bulletins and instructions closely.

During the restriction on keeping poultry outdoors, all poultry and other birds must either be kept indoors or the poultry run must be fenced and entirely covered by a net with a sufficiently fine mesh or other similar method. The purpose of the protection is to prevent the spread of avian influenza from wild birds to poultry during spring migration, but it also protects the birds from other communicable diseases, such as the Newcastle disease or salmonella.

Registration as a poultry keeper

Anyone keeping poultry must register in their local electronic Eläintenpitäjä- ja pitopaikkarekisteri (Register of animal keepers and establishments) or with the rural business authority in the operator's municipality of residence. The species of animals kept in the establishment must also be reported.

The report can be submitted through e-services: leads to external service) or with the Uudenmaan maaseutuhallinto (rural busines authority for Uusimaa):

Postal address: Bäckasinkuja 1 A, 07880 LILJENDAL
Telephone: +358 (0)40 521 8128
Email: maaseututoimi(at)