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USDA-AMS Issues Policy on Confinement of Organic Flocks

  

Apr 14, 2017

    

On April 3rd, Miles V. McEvoy Deputy Administrator of the USDA Certified Organic Program issued a policy memorandum allowing temporary confinement of flocks producing certified organic eggs.  This action follows the emergence of avian influenza in Kentucky, Tennessee and Georgia. 

Not unexpectedly, a free-range flock of 2,700 birds in Southwest Kentucky yielded H7N9 strain avian influenza two weeks ago.  This was the second case in Christian County and was detected by routine surveillance.

  

The USDA memorandum noted “If it is determined that temporary confinement of birds is needed to protect the health, safety and welfare of organic flocks, then producers and certifiers may work together to determine an appropriate method and duration of confinement of organic poultry flocks without a loss of organic certification.”  The memorandum added, “Continuous total confinement of any organic poultry indoors is prohibited.”

Further details on biosecurity are available on the APHIS website