USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) issued a report on planning and preparations for highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) in advance of a potential recurrence of the disease when birds migrate south this fall.

Avian influenza devastated poultry producers this past spring, affecting more than 48.8 million birds in 21 states before the last detection was recorded on June 17. Since this last outbreak, APHIS officials say they have used the time to plan for the return of the disease, using a hypothetical worst case scenario in an effort to prepare.

“APHIS’ planning activities incorporated experience from this year’s response effort, epidemiologic studies, and extensive feedback and input gathered from state partners, industry, academia and other stakeholders,” APHIS said.

The Fall 2015 HPAI Influenza Preparedness and Response Plan is organized into four key areas:

-preventing or reducing future outbreaks;

-enhancing preparedness;

-improving and streamlining response capabilities; and,

-preparing for the potential use of AI vaccines.

The report includes an updated biosecurity self-assessment for the poultry industry, streamlined and updated procedures for providing indemnity and other payments, a draft vaccine use strategy and many other items of interest to the Agency’s stakeholders. A copy of the Fall 2015 HPAI Influenza Preparedness and Response Plan and supporting documents are available on the APHIS website at