The modern turkey industry is an important segment of United States agriculture that produces wholesome animal protein on a year-round basis. Business continuity will be a challenge for turkey producers and processors located in a Control Area established established as a result of an outbreak of high pathogenicity avian influenza. Turkey houses are filled to capacity by the time the birds reach market age. Delays in moving turkeys from grow-out houses to the processing plant may result in insufficient building space and increased feed costs. Turkey processors in a Control Area are at risk if whole bird carcasses or further processed turkey products can not be moved into market channels for a period of time. Customers that receive turkey products on a just-in-time basis include food service distributors, retail stores, and distribution centers owned by fast-food restaurants and grocery store chains. If a turkey processing plant in a Control Area can not move turkey products into market channels for several days, many of their customers will be forced to look for an alternative supplier. The greatest economic impact on individual turkey producers and processors in a Control Area may be the loss of customers, a loss which could be permanent and economically fatal to the business.
NON-TECHNICAL SUMMARY: The FAST Turkeys Plan will facilitate business continuity and economic survival of participating non-infected turkey operations in a Control Area after an outbreak of HPAI. Also, it will help to assure the continuous availability of safe turkey meat consumers. Robust biosecurity programs in place prior to an outbreak and daily documentation of the disease-free status of FAST Turkeys Plan premises will reassure trading partners and consumers of the safety of turkey meat and turkey products. Elevating the level of biosecurity in participating turkey operations will further enhance food security by preventing introduction of other foreign animal and domestic diseases into our nation's turkey flocks.
APPROACH: <BR> 1. Minimum Biosecurity Standards for Turkey Producers. Biosecurity measures on this Checklist will be selected on the basis of extensive input from turkey producers, state and federal epidemiologists, and veterinarians employed by the turkey industry, universities, and federal regulatory agencies. Implementation of these biosecurity measures prior to an outbreak will significantly reduce the likelihood that the HPAI virus will be introduced onto a turkey production premises. <P>
2. Location Verification of FAST Turkey Plan premises using Global Positioning System (GPS) Coordinates. Turkey production premises participating in the FAST Turkey Plan will be required to register with the National Animal Identification System and premises location will be verified by global positioning system coordinates. <P>
3. Epidemiology Data. Epidemiology data will allow investigators to determine if a turkey farm has been exposed directly or indirectly to birds and other animals, products, materials, people, or aerosol from an infected premises. <P>
4. Active Surveillance Program. Absence of HPAI virus on a FAST Turkey Plan premises will be documented by requiring a minimum of five dead turkeys from daily mortality from each house on the farm to be tested each day and found to be negative by the RRT-PCR test.<P>
5. Geospatial Risk Estimate. An equation can be used to estimate the risk of exposure to HPAI based upon 1) risks not mitigated by quarantine and 2) distance from an Infected Premises.