Salmonella warnings and World Rabies Day

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board of animal health

Animal Bytes

August 2017

Government warns about Salmonella in chicks

Salmonella bacteria on petri dish

Participation in National Poultry Improvement Plan encouraged

The Centers for Disease Control annually investigates multiple instances of human illness related to Salmonella. Currently, the CDC is stressing the health risk of Salmonella Enteritidis transmission from live poultry, specifically, live poultry from hatcheries and suppliers not participating in voluntary Salmonella control programs of the National Poultry Improvement Plan or NPIP.

The NPIP program is designed to reduce the risks of salmonella and other diseases affecting poultry. It is a national partnership between federal agencies, states and the poultry industry. The main focus of the program is testing and certification of clean and healthy poultry.

The CDC released a memo on August 9, 2017, and highlighted the benefits of on-farm sanitation control programs to, "Reduce the burden of salmonella contamination of poultry." The agency says it's especially important with live poultry sold directly to the public.

Voluntary NPIP programs are encouraged, "To monitor for, and reduce burden of, Salmonella in hatcheries and give poultry industry a better opportunity to reduce the incidence of salmonella in their products." Mail-order hatcheries and agricultural supply stores should review their practices and understand the potential risks for Salmonella transmission to consumers.

Remember, contact with live poultry or their environment can make people sick with Salmonella infections. Live poultry can be carrying Salmonella bacteria and appear healthy and clean with no signs of illness.

Check out the National Poultry Improvement Plan website by clicking this link.

More stories...

MPTL approaching one year anniversary with exciting additions

The Minnesota Poultry Testing Laboratory will celebrate its one-year expansion and remodeling anniversary this October. A lot has happened since the grand opening celebration in 2016. The University of Minnesota Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory recently highlighted three major advancements at the MPTL.

First, the MPTL staff in Willmar are happy to welcome Dr. Saad Gharaibeh as the team's new avian pathologist. Dr. Gharaibeh graduated from Jordan University of Science and Technology in 1996 and completed a PhD in Veterinary Pathology and Avian Medicine at the University of Georgia in Athens, Georgia in 2001...

Second, the MPTL has added additional PCR testing to the lab. The lab currently does PCR testing for Mycoplasma gallisepticum, iowae, meleagridis and synoviae in addition to Avian Influenza, Avian Metepneumovirus, and Newcastle Disease. The St. Paul location no longer routinely conducts these PCR tests and all testing will be sent to the MPTL...

Third, as of July 24, the MPTL began a daily courier service (M-F) to the Uof M-VDL in St. Paul.  Samples, culture plates and other specimens for testing at the U of M-VDL in St. Paul must arrive at the MPTL by 9:00 am for same day delivery...

Read the rest of these stories on the University of Minnesota's website by clicking this link.

NPIP Biosecurity Principles and the Official State Agency

Analysis of the 2015 Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (HPAI) event revealed that after the initial handful of introductions, some of the subsequent infections of H5N2 HPAI virus were due to farm-to-farm spread.

Expectations for preventing or reducing future introductions will require increased biosecurity measures on farm.  The NPIP and USDA-APHIS, in collaboration with the poultry industry, have incorporated a set of poultry Biosecurity Principles into the NPIP Program Standards. The intent of these basic disease prevention principles is to have minimum management practices that poultry operations must follow to be eligible for indemnity in the event HPAI is detected in their facility. Each premises should have a biosecurity plan that includes but is not limited to, these NPIP biosecurity principles.

The 14 Biosecurity Principles: 

  1. Biosecurity Responsibility.
  2. Training.
  3. Line of Separation (LOS).
  4. Perimeter Buffer Area (PBA).
  5. Personnel.
  6. Wild Birds, Rodents and Insects.
  7. Equipment and Vehicles.
  8. Mortality Disposal.
  9. Manure and Litter Management.
  10. Replacement Poultry.
  11. Water Supplies.
  12. Feed and Replacement Litter.
  13. Reporting of Elevated Morbidity and Mortality.
  14. Auditing.

Per USDA, these Biosecurity Principles will be required for all commercial poultry premises with the following exemptions of annual production levels less than: 

  • 75,000 for table-egg layers.
  • 25,000 for upland game birds and waterfowl.
  • 100,000 for broilers.
  • 30,000 for meat-type turkeys.

Despite these exemptions, most industry experts agree that all commercial poultry operations should participate.

The Next Steps – The auditing portion of these principles falls under the oversight of the NPIP Official State Agency in each state.  In Minnesota, the Official State Agency (OSA) is the Minnesota Board of Animal Health, and it will be responsible for conducting the audits and providing an audit summary to USDA-APHIS.  All audits will be paper audits; there will be no site visits.  Requested audit materials may be provided in either paper or electronic formats.

Find resources on the NPIP website by following this link.  Under the left hand column, select NPIP Program Standards -> Biosecurity Principles.

For assistance or resources on how to implement these principles on your farm, please work with your veterinarian. Abby Neu with the University of Minnesota Extension-Poultry is also available for assistance at 320-235-0726 x 2019.

USDA seeks input to change classical swine fever status in Mexico

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) is proposing to recognize Mexico as free of classical swine fever (CSF).

Since the APHIS status was first published in 2014, the World Organization for Animal Health recognized Mexico as CSF-free. Following that decision, Mexico’s government requested APHIS also suspend its rulemaking and instead continue evaluating Mexico’s CSF status. Based on a 2015 APHIS site visit to Mexico, and additional information submitted by Mexico’s government, APHIS determined current conditions support CSF-free recognition for all of Mexico.

According to APHIS, "This newly proposed action would relieve CSF-specific restrictions on the importation of pork and pork products from Mexico, while continuing to protect the United States against this serious swine disease. However, other animal health concerns related to the import of live swine and swine genetics have not yet been evaluated and will still need to be addressed before live swine and swine genetics may be imported from Mexico."

APHIS is inviting public comments on the evaluation for 60 days before it makes a final determination.

This evaluation is available for public comment by clicking this link. Written comments can also be submitted through the mail:

Docket No. APHIS-2016-0038
Regulatory Analysis and Development, PPD, APHIS, Station 3A-03.8
4700 River Road Unit 118, Riverdale, MD 20737-1238.

World Rabies Day is September 28

Please contact us if you are planning an event!

Send us an email at

  • What is the event?
  • Where is it?
  • When is it?
  • Who can attend?
  • Other fun details?

We'll add your event to our list and post it on our dedicated World Rabies Day webpage we're building.  It's important to let us know what you have up your sleeve for September 28, 2017.  Planning a reduced cost rabies vaccination clinic for the day, or the entire week?  Let us know!  By working together, we can reach a larger audience and take greater steps toward reducing the risks of this zoonotic disease.