Written by M. Sean High
On August 31, 2015, the United States Department of Agriculture Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) posted an update to the agency’s Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (HPAI) response documents. Titled ContactPremises, this latest document reflects a concerted effort by APHIS to proactively deal with HPAI issues.
According to APHIS, a location is deemed a Contact Premise when that location is determined to “have susceptible poultry that may have been exposed to the highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) virus, either directly or indirectly, including but not limited to exposure to susceptible poultry, poultry products, fomites, or people from Infected Premises.”
According to the Contract Premises document, a Contact Premises is identified through the tracing-back or tracing-forward of all movements (human, vehicle, animal, etc.) from HPAI Infected Premises. If a Contract Premise is identified, depopulation may be authorized where HPAI is suspected. A positive HPAI test not required.
Furthermore, APHIS will provide indemnity for the depopulation of Contact Premises poultry flocks that have been properly authorized for depopulated by APHIS and state officials. The information necessary for indemnity will be collected from barn records after a Contact Premise is identified through movement tracing, and prior to an epidemiological investigation and any subsequent flock depopulation.