Washington, D.C. – National Chicken Council Vice President of Scientific and Regulatory Affairs Ashley Peterson, Ph.D., on Thursday told the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Animal & Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) about the importance of the National Poultry Improvement Plan (NPIP) in preventing and controlling possible diseases in poultry.
NPIP has historically been, and remains, a crucial program for ensuring the continued viability of the U.S. poultry industry for both the domestic and export markets. Although the program began in 1935 as an effort to eradicate Salmonella pullorum, it has since expanded to include a variety of programs developed to address other highly pathogenic avian diseases (such as Avian Influenza), as well as non-regulatory monitoring of potential food safety threats.
“NPIP is the perfect example of what a successful industry, state and federal partnership can achieve,” Peterson said during her remarks Thursday at an APHIS stakeholder meeting in Washington, D.C. “NPIP is a critical facilitator of trade and with the growing interest in trade expansion, an increase in support and staffing is necessary to ensure the viability of our industry. Given the current situation of the highly pathogenic avian influenza in Mexico and China, the support of national AI surveillance cannot be overstated.”
Every year, the NPIP faces tremendous challenges posed by limited staffing and funding – and this year is no exception.
Peterson continued, “On a state level, the NPIP operates with significant industry support, but the NPIP office located in Conyers, Georgia requires, and should receive adequate federal funding to maintain efficiencies and the ability to work directly with state, federal, and global constituents.”
“We strongly encourage moving past simply maintaining present levels of funding and support, and attempting to secure increased NPIP resources in both staffing and funding,” Peterson concluded.