FSIS has issued a new Directive addressing steps it would take in the event of an HPAI or agro-terrorism incident.
- As our readership is well aware, USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) is the federal agency charged with protecting the nation’s poultry and meat supply. Highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) and agro-terrorism concerns prompted FSIS to issue a Directive targeting both issues back in 2009.
- On September 21, 2016, FSIS issued a new directive, updating procedures established in 2009, to instruct its inspectors at poultry slaughter facilities on steps to take in the event of a highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) outbreak or agro-terrorism incident. Highlights of the enhanced inspection procedures include:
- USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) has responsibility activities in the event of an outbreak, including defining the control areas and issuing permits for flock movement.
- Public health veterinarians are to examine every truckload of birds from control areas during ante-mortem inspection.
- Inspectors must retain all carcasses exhibiting signs of HPAI for veterinary disposition.
- When public health veterinarians suspect that birds or carcasses exhibit clinical signs or lesions consistent with HPAI, they are to stop the establishment from further slaughtering the flock, retain all affected birds, carcasses and parts, and contact the district office.
- Poultry industry stakeholders should review this Directive to understand the steps that FSIS and APHIS will take should an HPAI or agro-terrorism event arise.