Falconry techniques are now used not only by falconers, but by many other groups.
The online self-audit below has been designed by the International Association for Falconry and Conservation of Birds of Prey (IAF) as part of raptorwelfare.org, a website providing guidance and resources for all keepers of birds of prey, including falconers, breeders, rehabbers, pest controllers, and those giving raptor demonstrations.
While the IAF exists to represent falconry – the art of hunting using trained birds of prey – it is also concerned about the use of falconry techniques by those who do not fall under the guidance of IAF member organisations. This audit aims to help all raptor keepers maintain good welfare standards, and to ensure that falconry methods are used ethically and correctly.
The IAF recognises the competence and autonomy of its member organisations in setting national or regional norms and standards for the welfare of falconry birds, and is happy to provide support and advice to members and government bodies in this regard. Please get in touch.
As a falconer or raptor keeper, you can use this self-audit to check that the management of your birds is of a standard that ensures their welfare, and to generate a certificate confirming that you have completed it.
If you are doing this audit on behalf of a group, organisation, or commercial enterprise, it must be completed by the owner or manager of the birds.
The audit consists of questions, checklists, and some photo uploads. Many of the requirements are based on the raptorwelfare.org guidelines, and they vary depending on whether you complete the form as a falconer, breeder, or other kind of raptor keeper.
This is a self-audit – there is no inspection by the IAF in the first instance. In the event of a challenge to your welfare standards, we will organize an onsite audit to verify that the statements made in the self-audit are correct, and will provide written support stating that we have verified and approve your welfare standards.
During the self-audit you will need to upload some photos and documents. You are required to upload photos of:
1. your mews or other enclosure(s);
2. your tethering system(s);
3. your transport facilities, e.g. box or hawking van;
4. a contract or supporting letter from your veterinarian.
It is best to have these ready on your device before you begin the audit.
Optionally, you can also upload:
- a mews-inspection report from your falconry club or mentor (if you have one);
- any legal permits, if they are required in your country;
- a falconry licence, if required;
- a photo of your food preparation area;
- example pages from your stud book, if you breed birds;
At the end of the audit, you have the option to purchase a certificate of completion from the IAF. This costs €20 for non-commercial users, and €100 for commercial users. You can pay easily via PayPal, which is integrated into the form, or by bank transfer – details are provided at the end of the audit.
If a controversy arises, for example with official veterinarians or other authorities, or if your welfare standards are challenged, the IAF will undertake an inspection to ensure that the standards in the audit have been met.