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Email Content: Poultry Industry News, Comments and more by Simon M. Shane

FSIS Grants NCC Petition Relating to "Leukosis"


On March 1st 2019, the National Chicken Council (NCC) submitted Petition 19-01 to amend 9 CFR 381.82 regarding inspection of carcasses for "leukosis" the cutaneous manifestation of Marek's disease.  In terms of the July 16th 2020 response, under signature of Rachael Edelstein, Assistant Administrator Office of Policy and Project Development, the petition was granted.  FSIS offline inspectors no longer will have to examine the first 300 birds of each flock processed to establish freedom from leukosis.  In addition, skin lesions if present can be regarded as a trimmable condition and do not require condemnation of the carcass and viscera.

Rachael Edelstein

Cutaneous Marek's disease lesion

Decades ago, before the introduction of effective Marek's disease vaccination now administered by in ovo injection, “leukosis” or cutaneous Marek's disease occurred sporadically in flocks and was responsible for extensive condemnation.  Reference to successive monthly USDA Poultry Slaughter Reports show that the prevalence rate of leukosis condemnation is in the region of 0.0002 percent of carcasses processed. Since it is generally accepted that leukosis is not a food safety concern the decision by the USDA is justified.

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