August 3, 2022
The USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) plans to propose changes to its rules for indemnities to producers affected by animal diseases such as avian influenza. The agency has submitted a work plan to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for review and plans a proposed rule in September.
According to OMB, the changes deal with “a possible new approach to indemnity value determination and a new framework for the indemnity regulations.” The changes would affect “payment of indemnity to remove animals [APHIS] classified as affected, suspect, or exposed to diseases of concern, to eradicate and control foreign animal diseases, emerging diseases, and program diseases. These sections specify values for animals removed for these diseases or the process to determine values if a flat rate was not established, methods of identification, confirmation of destruction and other aspects of removal.”
UEP has long advocated for a more transparent method of establishing indemnities, arguing that indemnity calculations should consider the value of egg production, the cost to producers of foregone production when depopulated facilities sit idle, and the differences in values for various production methods, including organic and cage-free production.
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