The final draft of the Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza Secure Egg Supply Plan, a program of the U.S. Department of Agriculture Foreign Animal Disease Preparedness and Response Plan, is now available for review at www.secureeggsupply.com.

The Secure Egg Supply Plan highlights the improvements in contingency planning prior to an outbreak of a foreign animal disease to ensure continuity of operations. The SES Plan was developed to avoid unnecessary destruction of eggs from healthy flocks during an outbreak of highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI). The SES Plan was developed jointly by the Egg Sector Working Group which included representatives of the egg industry, the USDA-Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Centers for Epidemiology and Animal Health and faculty of the University of Minnesota and Iowa State University.

Plan objective  

The objective of the plan is to allow movement of eggs in and out of a control area without endangering the health of non-exposed flocks. The plan will also provide for a continuous supply of eggs to the market including retail and food service customers.

The SES Plan comprises the Egg Movement Control Plan and the Federal and State Transport Eggs Plan. The EMC will form the basis of guidelines to allow movement of eggs and egg products from farms and breaking plants in a controlled zone while effectively reducing the risk of disseminating HPAI virus. The FAST Egg Supply component will minimize the risk of exposure of poultry flocks and will expedite the process to allow movement of products from unaffected flocks during an outbreak.

Benefits to consumers  

It is anticipated that the comprehensive SES Plan will benefit consumers, industry and regulatory agencies. In the event of an outbreak the implemented plan will insure a continuous supply of fresh product to the market and will reduce the negative economic impact on communities.

In November 2010, the United States Animal Health Association passed Resolution #42 which commended the USDA for endorsing the SES Plan as part of the Foreign Animal Disease Preparedness and Response Plan. Dr. Bill Hartmann, the State Veterinarian for Minnesota, stated, “We have come to realize that market continuity plays a major role in preparedness and response planning,” also adding “with passing of this resolution we hope that other states will utilize the SES Plan and establish working agreements with neighboring states to maintain market continuity for healthy flocks following an HPAI outbreak.”

This resolution can be viewed at www.usaha.org/committees/resolutions/index.shtml. Further information can be obtained from Todd McAloon at mcaloon@cargill.com