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The Poultry Inspection Certificate

A Poultry Inspection Certificate from the State of New Jersey shows a flock’s negative Avian Influenza status. A negative Avian Influenza status is required to move birds into live poultry markets and auctions, and may be required for exhibitions, fairs, and movement across state lines.

You may have your poultry tested for Avian Influenza on an as needed basis. You will receive a certificate that expires 10 days from the date the flock was tested. This is called a Tested Flock.

Participants in the Monitored Flock program are afforded more flexibility. As long as their monthly tests remain negative, participants may move poultry from their Monitored Flock at any time.

Sampling for Avian Influenza

A state or federal technician will visit your flock to check for signs of disease and to sample up to 30 birds for Avian Influenza. The sampling process is quick and easy.

Under most circumstances, chickens, turkeys, guinea fowl (gallinaceous birds) are tested by swabbing the trachea or the inside of the mouth, and waterfowl are tested by swabbing the cloaca.

Pigeons, doves, pheasants, and quail do not require testing because they do not spread the virus.

Additional Information about the Monitored Flock Program

To become a Monitored Flock, you must first become a tested flock. If your flock is found to be negative for Avian Influenza after the first visit, you will receive a Poultry Inspection Certificate that is valid for 10 days. Your flock must then be tested two additional times. Each time you will receive a new Poultry Inspection Certificate that is valid for 10 days. After the third continuous monthly test, your flock will gain the Monitored Flock status. You will continue to receive new Poultry Inspection Certificates after your monthly testing, but your certificate will now be valid for 30 days.

In premises with both gallinaceous birds and waterfowl, waterfowl may not need to be tested every month in the Monitored Flock program. Waterfowl will be tested each month they are to be moved under a Poultry Inspection Certificate, or at least once every 3 months.

Special Considerations for Waterfowl

The actual test for Avian Influenza in waterfowl requires a longer time to complete. In flocks containing both gallinaceous birds and waterfowl, a Poultry Inspection Certificate cannot be issued until the results from the waterfowl are received.

Please take this factor into consideration when planning to move birds from your flock. With advance notice, your technician can help you determine an appropriate testing date for your needs.

Flock Owner Requirements

To be included in either program, you must register your flock with the Division of Animal Health, and your flock must meet the definition of an established flock. An established flock has not been exposed to other poultry of lesser or unknown Avian Influenza status for a period of 21 days before testing. You may add poultry to your flock during this period, but it must come from another monitored or tested flock.

You will need to be present during the visit and be able to provide a description of all poultry located on your premise. Your birds should be penned, cooped, or crated for easy access.

In addition, you must also agree to maintain proper biosecurity when visiting other farms or auctions that contain poultry. Literature and videos discussing biosecurity are available from the New Jersey Department of Agriculture, Division of Animal Health.

Finally, you must only use your Poultry Inspection Certificate to sell birds that are part of your established and monitored flock. Doing otherwise can not only result in a loss of your State registration, but it will compromise our ability to monitor and control the spread of Avian Influenza in New Jersey.

Program Costs

Both the Monitored and Tested Flock Programs are free of charge to New Jersey producers.