Turkey sector consulted on salmonella rules

Defra has invited turkey producers, vets, consumers and retailers to respond to a consultation on how EU legislation regarding the control of salmonella in turkey flocks should be introduced to the UK.

The EU National Control Programme (NCP) is due to come into force in 2010 and will require producers to meet a reduction target of positive samples, meet minimum sampling requirements to verify this and take special measures should flocks test positive to the bacteria.

It is hoped the new rules will benefit producers across the EU by applying consistent and comparable approaches to reducing and controlling the prevalence of Salmonella Enteritidis and Salmonella Typhimurium in turkey flocks.

The NCP will apply to all turkey breeding flocks with more than 250 birds, all hatcheries with a capacity for more than 1,000 eggs and to all turkey fattening flocks with more than 500 birds.

Fattening flocks between 500 and 10,000 birds, which are able to demonstrate that they only supply locally, will not need to carry out operator sampling. However, 10% of them will be subject to official control sampling under domestic arrangements
Prevalence results of the fattening flocks will be reviewed at the end of the first year of implementation to assess whether these flocks need further monitoring to control prevalence levels.

The full Defra consultation package, which includes the National Control Programme, a summary of the consultation and an assessment of the likely impact of the regulations is available at: www.defra.gov.uk/corporate/consult/turkey/index.htm

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