The National Chicken Council,  National Turkey Federation, United Egg Producers, U.S. Poultry and Egg Association , and the USA Poultry & Egg Export Council sent a letter March 16 to USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) to strongly encourage moving past simply maintaining present levels of funding and support for the National Poultry Improvement Plan (NPIP) to secure increased NPIP resources in both staffing and funding.

NPIP began in 1935 as a joint federal, state, and industry effort to eradicate Salmonella pullorum. It has since expanded to include a variety of programs developed to address other highly pathogenic diseases in poultry, such as Avian Influenza, as well as food safety threats to humans like Salmonella enteritidis.

“On behalf of our respective members, we strongly support the continued efforts of NPIP to help establish production and/or health standards for segments of the U.S. poultry industry, including broilers, turkeys, commercial egg layers, primary breeders, and multiplier breeders, as well as hobby and exhibition poultry, waterfowl, and game bird breeders,” the groups wrote.

“Every year, NPIP faces tremendous challenges posed by limited staffing and funding,” the letter said. “On a state level, NPIP operates with significant industry support, but the NPIP office located in Conyers, Georgia requires, and should receive, adequate federal funding to maintain efficiencies and the ability to deal directly with state, federal, and global constituents. As NPIP programs grow in importance, it is imperative that said growth be matched by federal support.”

A copy of the letter is available here.