National Poultry Improvement Plan (NPIP)
The National Poultry Improvement Plan (NPIP) was started in the early 1930s to coordinate State programs aimed at the elimination of pullorum disease from commercial poultry. Pullorum is a bacterial disease of poultry that is transmitted from a hen to her chicks via the egg. By testing adult birds and eliminating the disease carriers from the breeding flock, commercial chicken and turkey producers have eliminated this costly disease.
The objective of the NPIP is to provide a cooperative Industry-State-Federal program through which new diagnostic technology can be effectively applied to the improvement of poultry and poultry products throughout the country. The provisions of the NPIP-both technical and management-have been developed jointly by industry members and State and Federal officials. These provisions establish standards for the evaluation of poultry breeding stock and hatchery products with respect to freedom from egg-transmitted and hatchery-disseminated diseases. Through this work, the NPIP provides certification that poultry and poultry products destined for interstate and international shipment are free of all such diseases.
The Plan is administered through a Memorandum of Understanding between the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and "Official State Agencies" in each of the 48 participating States. Individual producers in the Plan all sign a memorandum of participation with their Official State Agency.
USDA-APHIS publishes the provisions of the NPIP in Title 9 of the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) at sections (§§) 145 and 147. When the rules of the Plan need to be revised, APHIS consults with producers and State poultry officials and submits all regulations to normal rulemaking procedures before publishing them in the CFR.
Participation in the NPIP is open to all producers who can make their poultry, game-bird, ratite, or waterfowl facilities meet Plan requirements. The first step is to demonstrate, to the satisfaction of the applicant’s Official State Agency, that his or her facilities, personnel, and practices are adequate for carrying out the applicable provisions of the NPIP. Once accepted into the Plan, participants have to maintain in the Plan all of their poultry hatching-egg supply flocks and hatchery operations in a given State. When a Plan participant has flocks in one or more States, it is sometimes possible to reach a mutual understanding and agreement, in writing, between the participant’s own Official State Agency and the counterpart agency in the other State(s) regarding conditions of NPIP participation and supervision.
Although the NPIP has several classifications related to freedom from various diseases, the only required classification for Plan participation is “U.S. Pullorum-Typhoid Clean.”
The integrity of the NPIP is maintained through a system of random inspections managed by State cooperators. Each participating hatchery is inspected at least once a year to satisfy the Official State Agency that the operations of the hatchery are in compliance with the Plan’s provisions.
Recordkeeping is another important element in the Plan. The records of al flocks maintained primarily for production of hatching eggs are examined annually by a State inspector.
The Official State Agency may designate qualified persons as “authorized agents” to do the sample collecting and whole-blood testing provided for in the CFR at Title 9, § 145.14. The Official State Agency must employ or authorize qualified persons as State inspectors to (1) perform or supervise the performance of the testing of participating flocks and (2) perform the official inspections necessary to verify compliance with NPIP requirements. To make a testing appointment call 770-535-5900. There are also certified private testers in the following Counties: Dawson, Franklin, Haralson, Lanier, Tift, and Toombs-please call 770-535-5796 for more information.