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Avian influenza action plan unveiled by U.S. Poultry & Egg Association

By Aidan Fortune , 02-Sep-2016

The U.S. Poultry & Egg Association has set out action plans in the event of avian influenza
The U.S. Poultry & Egg Association has set out action plans in the event of avian influenza

The U.S. Poultry & Egg Association (USPOULTRY) has launched materials to help poultry producers organize and implement an incident response plan. 

The plan, developed by Georgia Tech Research Institute with input and review by USPOULTRY and the United Egg Producers, was created in response to avian influenza outbreaks in the region during 2015.

The CD-based guide explains the purpose of incident response planning, providing a general outline of the Incident Command System and including a comprehensive template to build an Incident Management Team, helping plan and track actions during an emergency situation.

A spokesman said: “Following the highly pathogenic avian influenza outbreak in 2015, many poultry companies recognized the need to better prepare and implement response plans to such incidents as well as improve collaboration with federal response agencies.”

The plan also explains that all government agencies are mandated to use a standardized, all-hazards approach and organizational structure when responding to natural disasters, disease outbreaks or other crises, called the Incident Command System (ICS).

Although the private sector is not required to use the ICS structure, USPOULTRY hopes that companies will be at least familiar with the system are in a better position to anticipate and coordinate with responding agencies.

The action plan is available free of charge to USPOULTRY member companies and may be purchased for $200 by non-members.

In 2015, the various outbreaks cost $950m for clean-up and payments to affected farms (USDA), 50 million animals were slaughtered and poultry exports fell by $1.5 billion.

Last month, the United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) confirmed the presence of highly pathogenic H5N2 avian influenza (HPAI) in a wild mallard duck from a state wildlife refuge near Fairbanks, Alaska. H5N2 HPAI had not been found in the U.S. – in either wild or commercial birds – since June 2015.

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