The USDA Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) National Organic Program (NOP) has received questions about the confinement of organic poultry flocks due to recent outbreaks of highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI).

Certified organic poultry operations must establish and maintain preventative livestock health care practices, which may include temporary confinement to protect the health, safety, or well-being of animals that could be jeopardized by avian influenza or other diseases.

The NOP reminds organic certifiers and producers of allowed actions in these situations. NOP Policy Memo 11-12: “Confinement of Poultry Flocks Due to Avian Influenza, or Other Infectious Diseases,” explains actions that producers can take to protect organic poultry flocks from infectious disease while also maintaining organic certification.

USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) provides guidance to poultry producers regarding bio-security considerations for their operations. More information on biosecurity practices is available on the APHIS Avian Health webpage.