Facilities will be audited at least once every two years or a sufficient number of times during that period to satisfy their Official State Agency. The audit will include, but may not be limited to, an evaluation of the biosecurity plan itself and documentation showing that the plan is being implemented.
“While it is true that weak biosecurity on a farm of any size could lead to spread of disease, the farms that were affected during the 2014-2015 outbreak were overwhelming large commercial facilities,” APHIS noted.
APHIS said approximately 18,900 operations will be subject to the biosecurity statement requirement out of the 233,770 poultry producers in the U.S. Those 18,900 operations, however, produce or house approximately 99% of the poultry in the U.S, APHIS said in the final rule.
“Exempting the smaller facilities, therefore, allows us to focus our resources on the operations that raise or house 99% of the nation’s poultry supply. While bird density on some smaller operations may be high enough to pose a risk of spreading HPAI due to environmental contamination when biosecurity is lacking, as noted above, 99% of the nation’s poultry reside and are raised on non-exempt operations,” the final rule explained.
While the loss of any size flock adversely affects the contractor, all flocks that were infected by HPAI during the 2014-15 outbreak were completely depopulated, including those owned by large-scale producers, APHIS explained. During the 2014-15 HPAI outbreak, 21 backyard flocks were infected, totaling approximately 10,000 birds, versus 211 commercial flocks totaling approximately 50 million birds. “In the aggregate, then, the impact on large commercial producers was much greater,” APHIS said in its rule.
APHIS's indemnity calculation formulas are the means by which APHIS determines the fair market value of birds and eggs destroyed due to HPAI and, thereby, the total amount of compensation due the indemnified party. This rule did not make any changes to that formula as addressing these calculators is beyond the scope of the current rule-making, APHIS said.