Avian NPIP

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National Poultry Improvement Plan (NPIP)

To contact the Avian Health Program e-mail: Avian Health Program. To report unexplained sickness or death in your poultry flock, call 1-800-606-3056.

Buff Orpinton Rooster staring into the camera
Photo by Barb Karaffa

Important NPIP Update

Due to a nationwide lack of Pullorum Typhoid Antigen, WSDA is unable to accept new NPIP applications at this time. We have been notified that the earliest we may anticipate being able to order the antigen will be in September. Previously certified NPIP flocks that are due for their annual PT testing will not be affected. 

What is the objective of the NPIP?

The objective of the National Poultry Improvement Plan (NPIP) is to provide a cooperative Industry, State, and Federal program through which new diagnostic technology can be effectively applied to the improvement of poultry and poultry products throughout the country. The provisions of the NPIP, both technical and management, have been developed jointly by industry members and State and Federal officials. These provisions establish standards for the evaluation of poultry breeding stock and hatchery products with respect to freedom from egg-transmitted and hatchery-disseminated diseases. Through this work, the NPIP provides certification that poultry and poultry products destined for interstate and international shipment are free of all such diseases.

What is required to certify your backyard flock in the NPIP?

Site Inspections

To become NPIP certified a WSDA veterinarian will perform a site inspection of your premise and your flock. The veterinarian will do an assessment of the biosecurity and sanitation of your premise and flock including poultry houses, hatching rooms, egg handling rooms, etc. To remain NPIP certified your premises must be inspected by a WSDA veterinarian annually. You can review the Site Inspection Checklist to see what they will be looking for.


Disease Testing

To become NPIP certified, and to remain certified, you must have a minimum of 30 birds, over the age of 16 weeks, tested for Pullorum Typhoid (PT) and Avian Influenza (AI) on an annual basis. These tests will be performed by the WSDA veterinarian during site inspections. To facilitate the testing process it's helpful if owners can provide a table, shelf or other surface to organize testing supplies, and during inclement weather, a covered area to perform testing. If you have multiple species of birds on your premise each species must be tested. For example if you have chickens, ducks, and geese then representative samples from all 3 species must be included in the 30 birds tested. You will be notified how many birds of each species you will need to have tested before the site inspection. The 30 birds must come from the flock owner's physical premise and cannot be birds commingled from another flock or premise. Birds under the age of 16 weeks cannot be PT or AI tested due to the inaccuracy of test results and the risk of reporting false positives. Commingling birds from another flock or premise or presenting immature birds for testing to meet the 30 bird testing requirement can be reasons for being debarred from participating in the program. Participants can choose to participate in the AI Clean Program, but this is not a requirement of joining the NPIP. If choosing to participate in the AI Clean Program 30 mature birds will need to be tested for AI 6 months after the annual site inspection and testing.

Reporting flock numbers and breeds

NPIP requires flock owners to annually report accurate flock numbers and stock codes for all birds on the premise at the time of reporting. The total flock number needs to include birds that are not old enough for testing. Because sexing is difficult in younger birds, flock owners can be flexible when listing the gender of the birds. Most owners simply choose to list half of their sexually immature birds as female and half as male. The most important thing is to report a correct head count and stock codes. Stock codes are the industry codes that are assigned to each species and breed of poultry and can be found by searching the stock code document. Flock numbers and stock codes will be reported on your initial application and during your annual site inspections.

Charge to participants

WSDA will charge flock owners for PT testing. The fee for testing is $85 an hour. Having the birds penned and easily accessible before the veterinarian arrives on the premise will reduce the amount of time necessary for the PT testing. If the veterinarian has to assit with catching birds before testing this will result in a longer amount of time and a larger fee. Participants are encouraged to assist veterinarians with the handling of their birds as this helps keep testing times down and causes less stress on the birds. When federal funding is available WSDA will pay for AI testing. WSDA will send a bill for the testing after the testing appointment. Veterinarians cannot accept payment at the premise visit.

Stock replacement and commingling birds

Participants may not buy or receive birds for any purpose from non-participants. Commingling birds from another premise that is not NPIP certified can be a reason for being debarred from the program. A list of certified NPIP producers and dealers, organized by state, can be found on the NPIP website. Clicking on the state that you would like to review will bring up the current list of NPIP members in that state.

Record keeping

Record keeping is an important part of the NPIP as it assists in disease containment and provides the ability to track animal movement in the event of a poultry disease outbreak. NPIP participants are required to retain records of all purchases and sales. Participants selling, transferring, or exhibiting poultry to states other than Washington must submit VS Form 9-3s for each shipment. These forms are created electronically and participants can request access to the database after becoming certified. Participants selling birds inside the State of Washington can create their own invoices for sales. Please include your assigned NPIP number on any invoices. Copies of these invoices, along with any VS Form 9-3s or invoices that you receive when purchasing poultry, will be audited annually to ensure that participants are remaining in compliance with NPIP requirements.

How do you join the NPIP Program?

The first step to joining the NPIP program is to review the information in the NPIP Provisions Document and the New Member Packet and Application.The next step is to email the completed application to the Avian Program for processing. Applications must be submitted in a PDF or Word document format. Unfortunately, we cannot accept pictures of applications in a JPG or PNG format. To complete the application you will need to report the total number of all  birds on your premise and the stock codes for all  birds on your premise. Once we have received a fully completed application we will forward your information to the veterinarian in your area and he or she will contact you to schedule your site inspection and testing appointment. During your site inspection the veterinarian will discuss your facilities and your biosecurity plan with you. To have an idea of what they will be looking for we encourage you to review our Site Inspection Checklist. Because of lab testing times, staff scheduling, and federal and state processing times it can take up to 2 months to complete the certification process and become NPIP certified. If you have any questions or need further assistance please contact Beth Reitz.