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USDA Proposes Updates to National Poultry Improvement Plan
USAgNet - 12/05/2019

The U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) reported Wednesday that it is proposing updates to the National Poultry Improvement Plan (NPIP) to align with changes in the poultry industry, as well as to incorporate new scientific information and technologies into the NPIP. These updates are consistent with the recommendations approved by representatives from across the poultry industry at the 2018 NPIP Biennial Conference.

As part of the proposal, APHIS would:

- create a new U.S. Newcastle Disease (ND) Clean program;

- update low pathogenic avian influenza regulations on indemnity and compensation;

- create an NPIP subpart specific to the game bird industry; and

- clarify/update the program regulations to match current scientific information and technologies.

The ND Clean program and compartment status would 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 could 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 would be similar to those NPIP currently uses for the AI Clean compartments. This would allow clean flocks to participate in international and interstate trade, even during a ND outbreak. This will benefit not only the flock involved, but the overall industry, by keeping trade flowing.

The proposal would update NPIP regulations on indemnity and compensation payments for low pathogenic avian influenza detections so they reflect current policy and operational practices. The proposal 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. The proposal also codifies the use of appraisal calculators to determine compensation amounts.

APHIS would also create an NPIP subpart specific to game birds, an industry that has grown rapidly and become more complex since its inception. The new subpart would align with the terminology, production methods, and end uses in the industry, which are significantly different than those in other poultry industries. The new subpart would add testing regimes, terminology, and programs specifically designed for the game bird industry. USDA is accepting public comments on this proposed rule for 60 days following its publication in the Federal Register. The proposed rule may be viewed at www.federalregister.gov/d/2019-23973.

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.

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