The Department of Agriculture will be expanding the National Poultry Improvement Plan, a voluntary cooperative program to prevent the spread of diseases in commercial poultry operations.
Under an interim rule, the USDA will provide 100 percent indemnity for specific costs of eradicating H5 and H7 low-pathogenic avian influenza by program participants. The USDA will offer only 25 percent indemnity for facilities that do not participate in the active surveillance portion of the program. In previous H5 and H7 detections, states often handled indemnification, and provisions varied.
International animal health standards now require countries to report all H5 and H7 detections. The program expansion will encourage testing and provide financial incentives to report detections.
The National Poultry Improvement Plan dates to the 1930s as an effort to certify flocks as free of disease. Previously, only breeder flocks could participate. The new rule expands the portion of the program for H5 and H7 LPAI to table-egg layers, meat-type chickens, and meat-type turkeys.
The rule appeared in the Sept. 26 Federal Register, available at www.gpoaccess.gov/fr.
Parties may submit comments until Nov. 27 electronically by visiting www.regulations.gov, searching under Agency for APHIS, then looking under Docket ID for APHIS-2005-0109; or by mailing four copies to Docket No. APHIS-2005-0109, Regulatory Analysis and Development, PPD, APHIS, Station 3A-03.8, 4700 River Road, Unit 118, Riverdale, MD 20737-1238.
Information is available by contacting Andrew R. Rhorer, Senior Coordinator, Poultry Improvement Staff, National Poultry Improvement Plan, Veterinary Services, APHIS, USDA, phone, (770) 922-3496.