The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) is announcing an interim rule that outlines conditions for the payment of indemnity claims for highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI). This interim rule is due to publish in the Federal Register the week of Feb. 7.

The outbreak of HPAI in spring 2015 had profound impacts on poultry producers, allied industries, and federal and state governments. APHIS learned a lot through the experience of responding to this emergency and through input from our State partners, industry, academia, and other stakeholders. We committed to examining any issues and modifying our processes where needed, and the publication of this interim rule is in line with that commitment.

The interim rule:

  • Clarifies an existing policy that allows for the payment of indemnity for eggs destroyed by HPAI response
  • Provides a formula to allow indemnity payments to be split between poultry and egg owners and their contracted growers
  • Requires owners and contractors to provide a statement that they had a biosecurity plan in place at the time HPAI was detected in their facilities in order to receive indemnity. This requirement includes limited exemptions.


These actions are being taken in an effort to solidify policies surrounding the payment of indemnity and further strengthen biosecurity adherence at poultry operations. In addition, APHIS is requesting comments and ideas through this rule on how the Agency should develop a stronger accountability system for monitoring industry biosecurity practices.

Public comments on the interim rule will be accepted for 60 days following publication in the Federal Registration. You may submit comments by either of the following methods:  

  • Federal eRulemaking Portal:  Go to!docketDetail;D=APHIS-2015-0061.
  • Postal Mail/Commercial Delivery:  Send your comment to Docket No. APHIS-2015-0061, Regulatory Analysis and Development, PPD, APHIS, Station 3A-03.8, 4700 River Road Unit 118, Riverdale, MD 20737-1238.

The interim rule will be effective upon publication in the Federal Register.