APHIS would provide a single virus elimination flat rate for all floor-raised meat poultry facilities. The rate is calculated based on the square footage of the facility and covers labor, equipment and supplies to clean and disinfect equipment, materials and the interior of barns. Because the use of dry cleaning followed by heating is in many cases the most cost- and time-effective virus elimination method, these activities are used in the calculations. However, the barn owner may use the method that is most appropriate, as approved by State Animal Health Officials and APHIS, to expedite the process. The rate assumes certain materials will be cleaned and disinfected, but APHIS would pay separately for materials that cannot be safely or adequately cleaned, providing the fair market value of disposed items.
This would be a change from previous flat rates, which were calculated on a per-bird basis. After a thorough review, APHIS moved to a per-square foot basis for flat rates in order to make the process more cost-effective and reduce the impact to taxpayers. APHIS is working on separate flat rates to address caged layers, breeder birds and ground birds (layers or housed). The new rates would make payments for virus elimination activities more equitable across facilities.APHIS invites the public to review and comment on the notifiable AI virus elimination flat rate for floor-raised poultry document. We will accept comments until January 12, 2018 at VS.STAS.Feedback@aphis.usda.gov. After the comment period ends, APHIS will review and consider all comments and issue a final document based on feedback received. View the document here.