Egg Industry Center

Iowa Forges Forward with Audit Prep Despite Ruling Lull

The Iowa Egg Symposium, held in Ames, Iowa on November 15, 2017, opened with Emily Reynolds of the Iowa Poultry Association (IPA). Reynolds provided a status overview of Iowa’s biosecurity audit program in accordance with the HPAI Interim Rule implemented by USDA-APHIS on February 9, 2016.

The rule’s purpose was to clarify 1) payments for eggs destroyed, 2) split payments where contractors were involved, and 3) require a biosecurity plan for producers to obtain indemnity. However, the Administrative Procedure Act of January 2017, requiring that for every federal rule that goes into effect, two must be removed, a delay of two or more years could affect the finalization of the HPAI rule.

Reynolds outlined the availability of USDA-APHIS biosecurity training materials and self-assessments, and highlighted the National Poultry Improvement Program (NPIP) General Conference Committee decision to include new biosecurity standards and adopt a biannual audit of commercial operations using the same exemptions outlined in the HPAI Interim Rule. These exemptions apply to egg producers who have less than 75,000 laying hens.

Reynolds continued by providing an overview of the NPIP Biosecurity Principles Audit Form that will be used as part of the Iowa audit program and clarified the timing of the program’s implementation. “The bi-annual clock for the audit piece won’t begin until the [HPAI] rule is finalized,” stated Reynolds. “Audits will be conducted in a paper-based, table-top fashion.”

IPA has completed mock audits and the costs are being finalized. Audits will be conducted on a first-come, first-served basis and are estimated to start in the spring of 2018, but the requirement for the audit will not begin until the HPAI Rule is finalized. After addressing the needs of the operations required to have the audit, IPA will offer a similar biosecurity program to exempted egg operations.

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