The National Poultry Improvement Plan (NPIP) is getting an update to align with changes in the poultry industry and to incorporate new scientific information and technologies into the plan, according to USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS).

These updates, published in the Federal Register,  are consistent with the recommendations approved by representatives from across the poultry industry at the 2018 NPIP Biennial Conference, APHIS reports. The changes will take effect on Nov. 4 this year.

In this update, APHIS is:

  • creating a new U.S. Newcastle Disease (ND) clean program;
  • updating low pathogenic avian influenza regulations on indemnity and compensation;
  • creating an NPIP subpart specific to the game bird industry; and
  • clarifying and updating the program regulations to match current scientific information and technologies.

The ND Clean program and compartment status will focus on primary breeder egg-type chickens, meat-type chickens, and turkeys – the animals that provide the foundation for the industry. Through the program, owners can show that their flocks meet all requirements to be considered unaffected by ND by both the Official State Agency and APHIS. The requirements for ND Clean compartments are similar to those in the AI Clean compartments. This allows clean flocks to participate in international and interstate trade, even during an ND outbreak. This benefits not only the flock involved but the overall industry, by keeping trade flowing.

APHIS is updating the NPIP regulations on indemnity and compensation payments for low pathogenic avian influenza detections so they reflect current policy and operational practices. The rule adds/clarifies definitions for various terms related to providing payments for animals, materials, cleaning and disinfection, and other steps needed for infected farms to return to normal business.

APHIS is creating an NPIP subpart specific to game birds, an industry that has grown rapidly and become more complex since its inception. The new subpart aligns with the terminology, production methods, and end uses in the industry, which is significantly different than those in other poultry industries. The new subpart adds testing regimes, terminology, and programs specifically designed for the game bird industry.

APHIS made two changes to the proposed rule. The agency is in the process of standardizing fair market valuations across species, so the language was updated to remove the requirement for use of indemnity calculators. APHIS also added a clarification explaining that a Virus Elimination calculator will not be used when the claimant and APHIS jointly agree the VE calculator is not applicable to the premises type.

The rule becomes effective 30 days after publication in the Federal Register.

The NPIP is a cooperative federal-state-industry mechanism for controlling certain poultry diseases. NPIP’s objective is to provide a cooperative program through which new technology can be effectively applied to improve poultry and poultry products throughout the country. NPIP offers a variety of programs and identifies states, flocks, hatcheries, dealers, and slaughter plants that meet disease control standards specified in the various NPIP programs.

The cooperative program was established in the 1930s with the intent of eliminating Pullorum disease and creating a national network of disease-free poultry. Today, the program includes the testing and monitoring of Salmonella typhoid, Salmonella enteritidis, Mycoplasma gallisepticum, Mycoplasma synoviae, Mycoplasma meleagridis, and Avian Influenza.

In addition to commercial poultry, the NPIP covers the following:

  • WATERFOWL — Domesticated aquatic birds such as ducks and geese;
  • GAME BIRDS — Domesticated fowl such as pheasants, quail, partridges, grouse and guineas (not doves and pigeons);
  • EXHIBITION POULTRY — Domesticated fowl which are bred for the combined purposes of meat or egg production and competitive showing; and
  • BACKYARD POULTRY — A small flock of domesticated poultry.

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