The National Poultry Improvement Plan (NPIP) was started in the early 1930s to coordinate State programs aimed at eliminating Pullorum from commercial poultry. In those days, many poultry breeders served the needs of thousands of small flock owners. Today, there are only a very few breeders of commercial poultry to serve the commercial poultry industry, which produces billions of chickens and millions of turkeys annually.

Today, the NPIP concerns itself with certifying that flocks are free of the following disease:

  • Pullorum
  • Fowl typhoid
  • Avian mycoplasmas
  • Salmonella enterica
  • Avian influenza

Pullorum disease, discovered in 1899, is a worldwide disease of poultry. The main reservoirs of infection are the egg-producing organs of the infected hen. Chicks from diseased hens are infected at conception inside the egg.

Being a member of the NPIP allows greater ease in moving hatching eggs and live birds within the state, across state lines, and to other countries. In fact, most countries will not accept poultry products unless they come from a NPIP participant.

The Animal Health Division serves as the Official State Agency for the administration and oversight of NPIP programs in North Dakota. These duties include interstate commerce, import/export, disease surveillance, testing, permitting and disease response plan activities.

Biosecurity Auditing

If a future highly pathogenic avian influenza outbreak were to impact North Dakota, for a poultry, gamebird or waterfowl farm to be eligible for federal indemnity money, flock owners must have a State-approved biosecurity plan in place and must demonstrate that they have implemented those biosecurity measures at the time of the disease outbreak. As the Official State Agency, the North Dakota Department of Agriculture performs paper check audits of eligible flocks every 2 years to review farm biosecurity plans with the farm biosecurity coordinator and the flock’s veterinarian.

Biosecurity audit eligibility is based on flock size as outlined in 9 CFR 53.10. Premises exempt from auditing are those which:

  • raise fewer than 100,000 broilers annually for meat,
  • raise fewer than 30,000 turkeys annually for meat,
  • have fewer than 75,000 table egg layers,
  • raise fewer than 25,000 raised for release upland game birds annually, and
  • raise fewer than 25,000 waterfowl birds annually.

Commercial flocks are not exempt from biosecurity audits even if they are not active NPIP participants.

Audits are a paper-based assessment of the participant’s biosecurity plan and conducted at least once every two years by the Official State Agency.

National Poultry Improvement Plan Contacts

National Poultry Improvement Plan Contacts



North Dakota State Board of Animal Health

State Board of Animal Health
600 E Boulevard Ave.
Bismarck, ND 58505-0020


Fax: 701-328-4567

North Dakota State Board of Animal Health