Salmonellosis is an infection of animals and man caused by a group of bacteria called Salmonella. These can live in the digestive tract of a wide range of mammals (including people), birds and reptiles and are present worldwide.

Effects of Salmonella

Over 2,500 strains (serovars) of Salmonella are known most of which rarely cause disease. However certain strains, such as Salmonella enteritidis and Salmonella typhimurium, may cause human disease if, for example, foodstuffs become contaminated with animal faeces.

Eggs from infected hens may also contain salmonella. Infection may also follow contact with infected animals. It is usually fairly short-lived and often does not cause any obvious disease. However disease may occur with high temperature, diarrhoea and blood poisoning. In a few cases infected animals or people may carry certain strains of the bacteria for prolonged periods.
Laboratories report all findings of Salmonella in samples from food producing animals and animal feed to the Department.

Compliance with EU rules on State aid


Salmonella is an animal disease included in the list of animal diseases established by the World Organisation for Animal Health. 

The Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs carries out a surveillance programme to ensure Northern Ireland complies with EC 2160/2003 which requires testing of flocks of turkeys and chickens (with a minimum number of birds) for specified salmonella which can cause food borne illness in humans. Full details of the Department’s statutory powers and its programme are published on this page. 

State aid

Farmers pay for compulsory sampling and testing of salmonella. Compensation which may be paid to farmers under this Scheme constitutes State aid within the meaning of the Articles 107 - 109 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (consolidated version). All aid paid under this Scheme is in full compliance with Commission Regulation (EU) 702/2014 and, in particular, with Articles 1 and Article 26 of that Regulation (Official Journal reference OJ L 193 1.7.2014, pages 1 to 75).

Legal basis

Objectives of the aid

The objective of this Scheme is to ensure Northern Ireland complies with EC
2160/2003 which requires testing of flocks of turkeys and chickens (with a minimum number of birds) for specified salmonella which can cause food borne illness in humans. Birds which test positive for a specified salmonella and meet specified requirements may be slaughtered and may be eligible for compensation.

The compensation value which is set on a per bird basis and revised quarterly. Currently DAERA will only compensate for breeding chickens and turkeys and not for broilers, layers and fattening turkeys. Eggs may be compensated for only under certain circumstances. In all cases farmers pay for initial on farm sampling and subsequent testing.

Duration of scheme

1 January 2015 – 31 December 2020 (modified from 01/08/2017)

Annual expenditure

Estimated costs per annum for the operation of the scheme are £135,000. This includes administration and the Department’s Veterinary Service staff costs as well as testing accrued by the Agri-Food Biosciences Institute (AFBI).

Farmers pay for the compulsory and predetermined on farm “operator” sampling and subsequent testing for salmonella. These fees are revised annually and recovered by DAERA on a full cost recovery basis. Compensation for breeding birds is only payable where the birds are slaughtered following a positive official confirmatory on farm sample.


Applicable to chicken and turkey farmers (with a minimum number of birds) within Northern Ireland active in the primary production of agricultural products (Article 1 of Regulation (EU) 702/2014) that:

  • are subject to (EC) No 2160/2003 
  • in relation to compensation payments, incur losses caused by an outbreak of Salmonella specified under (EC) No 2160/2003 and formally recognised by the Department (Article 26.10(a) of Commission Regulation (EU) 702/2014

Compensation - eligible loses

Payments may be granted directly to farmers to reimburse farmers for the loss of breeding chickens and turkeys and in exceptional cases, for eggs. (Article 26.13 of Commission Regulation (EU) 702/2014).

Compensation will apply to all birds seized and slaughtered under this scheme due to an officially confirmed outbreak of a specified salmonella (within breeding chickens or turkeys) formally recognised by the Department in accordance with Article 26.10 of Commission Regulation (EU) 702/2014

Calculation of compensation 

The value per birds is revised on a quarterly basis independently of DAERA and is set on a per bird basis and dependant on the age of the bird and whether is it a breeder, parent breeder or grandparent breeder.

In no situation will compensation exceed 100% of the market value (Article 26.13 of Commission Regulation (EU) 702/2014 refers).

Reductions to losses eligible for aid

The maximum amount of loss eligible for aid will be reduced by:

  • any amount received under insurance schemes for the relevant losses (applicants to the Scheme having to provide a declaration stating whether such payments have been received) (Art 26.13 of Regulation (EU)702/2014
  • costs not incurred by the disease, which would otherwise have been incurred (Art 26.9 of Regulation (EU)702/2014)
  • any amount received from the slaughter of the birds for processing and resale

National control programme

The EU Zoonoses Regulation (EC) No 2160/2003 requires Member States to take effective measures to detect and control Salmonellas of public health significance in specified animal species at all relevant stages of production. Following a 12 month survey to establish the baseline for Salmonella in the animal species a target is agreed for its reduction in the Member States.

Member States aim to meet these targets through an agreed National Control Programme (NCP). Although the Commission sets a framework, it is likely that these programmes will vary to some extent between the countries due to different circumstances, whilst achieving the same aim.

These NCPs are established to protect human health by achieving agreed targets through auditable 3 year programmes to reduce the prevalence of certain zoonoses in animal populations at primary production level, and where necessary, other stages of the food chain. They cover farm animal species which present a potential risk of transmitting Salmonella and other zoonotic agents to humans. These are currently restricted to poultry (breeding flocks of Gallus gallus, laying hens, broilers and turkeys) and pigs (herds of slaughter and breeding pigs). The Zoonoses Regulation provides the framework for adding zoonotic agents other than Salmonella, and other animal species, in the future.

Fowl Typhoid


Fowl typhoid is a potentially serious disease of poultry caused by the bacteria Salmonella Gallinarum. The disease is widely distributed throughout the world, although it is rare in commercial flocks. The disease has recently been detected on premises in Northern Ireland. The disease was last confirmed in England in 2006.

Species affected

Chickens are the most commonly affected species, but the disease can also infect turkeys, game birds, guinea fowls, sparrows, and pet birds.
Clinical signs Clinical signs include weakness, diarrhoea, ruffled feathers, drooping wings and loss of appetite.

Mortality in affected flocks is variable but the disease is often characterised by rapid spread and a high mortality rate of up to 100%.

Risk to humans

Fowl typhoid is specific for poultry and is not regarded as a zoonotic disease (i.e. communicable between animals and humans). There is considered to be a negligible risk to humans.

Disease spread 

Disease can spread via infected and recovered (carriers) birds and by fomites e.g. egg trays, bird cages, red mites. Once in a house, red mites are thought to play an important role in the spread of infection which can also occur through ingestion of contaminated food or water, or potentially via the respiratory route. Transmission between flocks can occur through the movement of poultry, contaminated poultry manure/litter, eggs and egg shells, feed and water, and through contaminated clothing and equipment of staff and/or visitors. Birds can become chronic carriers and transmit the disease vertically through the egg (transovarian) to progeny flocks. 


As with other salmonella diseases, prevention of Fowl Typhoid is through adopting and applying high standards of biosecurity. 


Fowl Typhoid is not a notifiable disease in Northern Ireland. Flock keepers should however contact their private veterinary practitioner (PVP) if there are increased mortalities and/or clinical signs suggestive of the disease in their birds. Relevant birds and/or samples should be submitted for laboratory diagnosis.

Approved Laboratories in Northern Ireland

The following table provides information on DAERA approved laboratories for testing under the Control of Salmonella in poultry/broilers/turkeys orders.

Name Contact details Address Telephone UKAS number
AFBI Newforge Newforge Lane
Belfast BT9 5PX
028 9025 5689 1279
AFBI Stormont Stoney Road
Belfast BT4 3SB
028 9052 0011 2632
Concept Life Sciences 69a Killyman Street, Moy Co. Tyrone
BT71 7EA
028 8778 9599 1549
Beechwood Laboratories 120 Ballymena Road, Doagh, Ballyclare
BT39 0TL
028 9335 2691 1724
Bio-Search (NI) Ltd 31 Dufferin Road
Belfast BT3 9AA
028 9035 2066 1369
Mid-Antrim Laboratory Services 42a Broughshane Road,
Ballymena BT43 7DX
028 2564 4051 4594
Moy Park Ltd 49 Seagoe Industrial Estate
Co Armagh
BT36 5QE
028 3836 8115 4529
Advanced Micro Services & Environmental Laboratories Ltd (ALS) Carrigeen Business Park, Clonmel,
Co Tipperary, Ireland
E91 PF63
Advanced Laboratory Testing

Boxer House, Unit 4 Newbridge Industrial Estate, Kildare, ROI, W12 XC83 +(353)454 34355 315T*
Agrihealth Laboratory Services Clones Road,
+353(0)477 4135 362T*

*Accredited by Irish National Accreditation Board (INAB)

DEFRA approved laboratories are also considered to be approved under the above relevant national legislation.

For information on the process of becoming a DAERA approved laboratory under the above scheme please contact:

Joanne Lyttle
Animal Disease Control
Room 714
Dundonald House

Tel: 028 9052 4715

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