At their biannual meeting, the members of the Avian Veterinarians in Egg Production (AVEP) reviewed a number of items which are of critical concern to health and production.
The FDA Final Rule took precedence as well as the volume of testing that is overwhelming many state laboratories. Topics discussed include the following:
- The FDA will now accept the NPIP isolation and identification procedure, contributing to harmonization and avoiding conflict.
- The National Veterinary Services Laboratory in Ames, Iowa, has agreed to process SE specimens submitted in accordance with the FDA rule to expedite decisions concerning the possible presence of the pathogen.
- Confirmation services are also provided by the Salmonella Reference Center at the University of Pennsylvania.
- PCR technology will be necessary to screen samples and hopefully be recognized by the FDA as the current egg testing protocol imposes both risks and costs. The University of Pennsylvania is using a specific Applied Bio Systems for this procedure under a provisional test scheme.
- A quality assurance training program for poultry handling and transport has been developed and is under testing. A video and training manual has also been prepared and graduates of the program will be certified after demonstrating competence in moving spent fowl, chicks, broilers, and turkeys under regular and emergency conditions
- The USDA FAST (Federal and State Transport) Eggs Program was reviewed. A number of states in the Midwest have adopted the provisions of the program which would allow for movement of eggs and liquid product from designated farms located in areas subjected to quarantine for HPAI or END or some other emerging catastrophic disease.
Additional information on critical topics is available from members of the AVEP, including Egg Industry's editor, Dr. Simon M. Shane.