The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Animal Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) invites the public to review and comment on proposed changes to the National Poultry Improvement Plan (NPIP) Program Standards. The proposed updates would amend the Program Standards by establishing new biosecurity principles and updating some testing procedures.

NPIP is a cooperative federal-state-industry mechanism for controlling certain poultry diseases. The plan consists of a variety of programs intended to prevent and control poultry diseases. Participation in all plan programs is voluntary, but breeding flocks, hatcheries, and dealers must first qualify as ‘‘U.S. Pullorum-Typhoid Clean’’ as a condition for participating in the other plan programs.

The plan identifies states, flocks, hatcheries, dealers, and slaughter plants that meet certain disease control standards specified in the plan’s various programs. As a result, customers can buy poultry that has tested clean of certain diseases or that has been produced under disease-prevention conditions.

APHIS is advising the public that it has prepared updates to the NPIP Program Standards document. The proposed updates would amend the Program Standards by establishing new standards for biosecurity principles.

APHIS also proposes to amend the hemagglutination inhibition test procedures for Mycoplasma, clarify the laboratory procedure recommended for the bacteriological examination of Salmonella in birds, amend the laboratory procedure recommended for polymerase chain reaction (PCR) tests for Mycoplasma gallisepticum and M. synoviae, and add new diagnostic tests for Mycoplasma and Salmonella.

The public is invited to review and comment on the notice until March 15, 2017. After review of any comments received on the proposed updates, the agency will publish a second notice in the Federal Register announcing its decision.

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