NAEF Pushes For Full Indemnity for Egg Farmers as Specified in Law
On May 20, NAEF asked Rep. Collin Peterson (D-MN), the Ranking Member of the House Agriculture Committee, and Rep. Steve King (R-IA) also on the House Agriculture, the two Congressmen whose districts are the hardest hit by avian flu, to ensure APHIS pays full indemnity to egg farmers depopulating their birds because of avian influenza. Below is a paragraph from the letters sent to the Congressmen.
The numbers of birds depopulated is staggering as this outbreak is the worst avian influenza virus ever to strike the United States. In addition to the farmers taking steps to destroy these presumptive positive birds, the USDA Animal & Plant Health Inspection Service is assisting in this emergency. Unfortunately, USDA is only recently acknowledging responsibility as outlined in 9 CFR part 56.4 (a) (1) to indemnify egg farmers for the value of their hens by funding the future production of those depopulated birds. Will you please help the egg farmers receive the full value as outlined in 9 CFR part 56.4
- 1.What Does the Law Specify Regarding Indemnity Payments for Layers?
NAEF has learned in talking with some of the farmers depopulating their flocks, APHIS case workers are not following the regulatory guidelines for indemnity payments. Here is how the law specifies how indemnities are to be paid, including the loss from future eggs those laying chickens would have produced. Those who are NAEF members have received this regulation and have forwarded this information to their APHIS case worker seeking an explanation.
9 CFR §56.4 Determination of indemnity amounts.
(a) Destruction and disposal of poultry.
(b) (1) Indemnity for the destruction of poultry infected with or exposed to H5/H7 LPAI will be based on the fair market value of the poultry, as determined by an appraisal. Poultry infected with or exposed to H5/H7 LPAI that are removed by APHIS or a Cooperating State Agency from a flock will be appraised by an APHIS official appraiser and a State official appraiser jointly, or, if APHIS and State authorities agree, by either an APHIS official appraiser or a State official appraiser alone. For laying hens, the appraised value should include the hen's projected future egg production. Appraisals of poultry must be reported on forms furnished by APHIS and signed by the appraisers and must be signed by the owners of the poultry to indicate agreement with the appraisal amount. Appraisals of poultry must be signed by the owners of the poultry prior to the destruction of the poultry, unless the owners, APHIS, and the Cooperating State Agency agree that the poultry may be destroyed immediately. Reports of appraisals must show the number of birds and the value per head.