National Poultry Improvement Plan (NPIP)

National Poultry Improvement Plan (NPIP)

The NPIP is a voluntary State–Federal cooperative testing and certification program for poultry breeding flocks, baby chicks, poults, hatching eggs, hatcheries, and dealers. It became operative in 1935 with a three-pronged focus on certifying breeding stock, bird performance, and the elimination of bacillary white diarrhea (caused by Salmonella pullorum). The objective of the NPIP is to provide a cooperative State–Federal program through which new technology can effectively be applied to the improvement of poultry  and poultry products by establishing standards for the evaluation (testing) of poultry breeding stock, baby chicks, poults, and hatching eggs with respect to freedom from certain diseases. 

The diseases covered by the NPIP are avian influenza (fowl plague) and those produced by S. pullorum (pullorum disease), S. gallinarum (fowl typhoid), S. enterica var. enteritidis, Mycoplasma gallisepticum (MG, chronic respiratory disease, and infectious sinusitis in turkeys), M. synoviae (MS, infectious synovitis), and M. meleagridis (MM, day-old airsacculitis). In addition, the NPIP has programs such as “U.S. Salmonella Monitored” and “U.S. Sanitation Monitored” that are intended to reduce the incidence of salmonella organisms in hatching eggs, chicks, and poults through effective and practical sanitation procedures at the breeder farm and in the hatchery. 

Poultry is defined in the NPIP as domesticated fowl, including chickens, turkeys, ostriches, emus, rheas, cassowaries, waterfowl, and game birds (except doves and pigeons) that are bred primarily to produce eggs and meat. Three types of participants are involved in the NPIP: independent flocks, hatcheries, and dealers. The poultry products certified by the NPIP are hatching eggs, baby chicks, poults, and started pullets. The vast majority of U.S. States prohibit the entry of any poultry shipments except those designated pullorum- typhoid clean. Essentially, such bans mean that poultry moving interstate should participate in the “U.S. Pullorum-Typhoid Clean” program of the NPIP or be tested negative for pullorum-typhoid before leaving their home State. Fifteen States require that all shipments of turkeys they receive be MG clean. Essentially, that requirement means that turkeys moving interstate should participate in the “U.S. MG Clean” program of the NPIP or be tested free of MG before shipment.

Most U.S. trading partners importing poultry and products from the United States also require NPIP participation. Accredited veterinarians may be requested to inspect breeder flocks participating in the NPIP for compliance with the standards and to issue health certifications. Every spring, APHIS publishes a directory of participants handling egg-type and meat-type chickens and turkeys and a directory of participants handling waterfowl, exhibition poultry, game birds, and ratites. These directories list hatcheries, independent flocks, and dealers participating in the NPIP, the products that they handle, and the disease classifications that they participate in. 

Other information about the program can be obtained from the:

NPIP, USDA–APHIS –VS
1506 Klondike Rd, Suite 300
Conyers, GA 30094

Information can also be obtained on the NPIP Web site:

http://www.aphis.usda.gov/animal_health/animal_dis_spec/poultry/
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