Written by Tyler R. Etter
On September 18, 2015, the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) released a report
detailing the planning and preparations for highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) in the event that
outbreaks continue this coming fall after flocks migrate south.
The HPAI outbreak that took place in the winter of 2014 and spring of 2015 affected more than 48.8
million birds over 21 states. The last detection of the disease was on June 17. The new response plan is
based on a hypothetical “worst case scenario.”
The plan focuses on four key areas: preventing or reducing outbreaks, enhancing preparedness,
improving and streamlining response capabilities, and preparing for the potential use of AI vaccines.
Updates include improved self-assessments for biosecurity for the poultry industry and a draft strategy
for the use of vaccines.
Of particular note are the planned improvements to indemnity payments for flock depopulation. Flock
plans are now to be submitted later in the process, making the 24 hour depopulation goal more realistic.
Further, there is a planned interim rule that will allow for a split of indemnity payments between the
poultry owner and the contract grower.
APHIS has utilized the information and lessons learned from the previous outbreak in developing this
plan. APHIS is confident in its preparedness for the coming fall, and is ready to respond and aid those
affected by the disease. The full report can be read here.