In this section
Why has RSPCA Assured introduced these changes?
We know that Avian Influenza is a significant concern for our poultry members. By introducing these additional measures we hope to provide our members with the assurance that we are doing everything that we possibly can to reduce the risk of spreading the disease.
What is the difference between a Virtual Visit (VV) and a Desktop Assessment (DTA) that RSPCA Assured has done in the past?
During the Covid lockdowns, we conducted what was known as desktop assessments; unlike these, our virtual visits do not count as a full assessment. Instead, they provide members who are concerned about the spread of AI the opportunity for a ‘check-in’ with an RSPCA Assured Assessor. Unless the farm is in a controlled area (i.e. within 10km of a confirmed outbreak) an onsite visit is still required for a full assessment and renewal of certificate. For farms in controlled areas, DTAs can be arranged.
Do I have to pay for a Virtual Visit?
If your site is located within a 3km protection zone or a 10km surveillance zone, then no, there is no additional cost to the Virtual Visit. If you are requesting a deferral to your in-person assessment and are not in a 3km protection zone or a 10km surveillance zone, you will be asked to make an additional payment of £70 + VAT to cover the additional admin costs involved.
Why is there a charge of £70 + VAT for a VV?
Our qualified assessors are on the road all the time. Onsite assessments allow us to see what's happening on farms and to really see that the animals are being cared for. To put in place virtual visits, we need to establish new protocols, new systems have to be created and our assessors need new equipment. All of this results in increased costs and extra time. In addition to this, we also need to schedule a further in-person visit for the future.
Can I renew my certification through a VV?
No. Certificates can only be renewed following a site visit or a DTA if the farm is in a controlled area (i.e. within 10km of a confirmed outbreak).
Can I choose to have a DTA rather than an onsite visit to renew my certification?
DTAs are only available for members who have farms in controlled areas (i.e. within 10km of a confirmed outbreak). For farms outside controlled areas, certification can only be renewed via an onsite visit.
What is the difference between a 10km or 3km AI control zone?
Whilst a ten-kilometre zone makes some restrictions to poultry and eggs entering and leaving your farm, a three-kilometre protection zone is around the epicentre of the outbreak and restrictions are much tighter within this area. For example, birds must be housed and nothing can be moved in or out without a licence.