Egg Industry Presentations

The FAST Eggs Plan

(View the Online PowerPoint Presentation)

Dr. Darrel Trampel of Iowa State University reported on progress in implementing the FAST Eggs Plan.  Speaking before the Western Poultry Disease Conference on April 2nd in Scottsdale AZ. His presentation entitled Business Continuity for Egg Producers during an HPAI outbreak – The FAST Eggs Plan outlined the requirements and envisioned application of FAST in the event of an outbreak.

Dr. Trampel provided permission to reproduce his PowerPoints for the benefit of readers of 

The following brief commentary will assist in following the Power Points which can be accessed below:-

  • The Federal and State Transport ("FAST") plan was introduced on April 1st 2010.  The principal objective is to allow continuity of egg shipments from non-infected farms within a controlled area affected by HPAI.
  • The program was developed as a result of the recognition that most farms could not store eggs for longer than 48 hours and any disruption would result in loss of revenue in addition to disruption of markets.
  • Farms would be divided into two categories.  If shown to be infected by either RRT-PCR or virus isolation, full quarantine would be imposed.  Suspect premises would also not be allowed to move eggs. These farms would be characterized by evidence of a clinical abnormality in either production, livability or a drop in consumption of feed or water.
  • The FAST program would allow egg producers with non-infected farms to commence shipping product 48 hours after the establishment of a Controlled Area. 
  • It was anticipated that within a day of establishing a Controlled Area, testing applying PCR would commence. Eggs would move late on the second day and would continue each day subject to assays confirming freedom from HPAI virus by PCR. 
  • Farms with recorded GPS coordinates would be approved based on 45 criteria relating to biosecurity which collectively would reduce the risk of infection.  The status of the pre-approved farms would be subjected to audit at 6 month intervals to ensure compliance.
  • All registered farms would be under the review of the State Coordinator, currently Dr. David Schmitt, State Veterinarian.
  • In the event of an outbreak, epidemiologic data would be collected comprising a questionnaire to establish possible contacts with the index farm.  Production records would be provided relating to the 7 day preceding the outbreak with special reference to mortality, water consumption and egg production.
  • The surveillance component will involve collection of oropharyngal swabs representing a pool of 5 dead or euthanized sick chickens.  Epidemiologists have calculated that testing two pools, each comprising five birds would provide a 95% probability of detecting the presence of HPAI virus providing there was a 40% prevalence rate within the flock.  A farm would be regarded as "negative" if two consecutive daily assays applying PCR indicated absence of AI virus.  While the Controlled Area is in existence, a 5-bird pool would be examined each morning from each house on an approved farm to confirm the negative status of the farm. 
  • All information would be transmitted daily to management of farms and complexes by   E-mail with designated farm personnel accessing a database using a unique login and password.  The database would store contact information, the biosecurity checklist and audit results.  During the outbreak the farm would submit daily mortality, and egg production data and would provide details of any unexplained changes in these parameters.
  • The FAST program in Iowa is supported by 2-day training sessions and a trial exercise.  The first day involves collection of oropharyngal swabs and information on procedures to submit specimens to the diagnostic laboratory.  Farms would be responsible for purchasing and storing personal protective equipment, trash bags, swabs and tubes of transport medium.  The Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory would be equipped with epidemiology questionnaires and submission forms.

The Iowa FAST Eggs Plan was developed in response to the needs of a state industry holding 57 million laying hens.  Iowa is also the home base of two primary breeders and has hatcheries, an SPF-egg plant and numerous small-scale specialist poultry producers.

(View the Online PowerPoint Presentation)