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.
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).
- Regulation (EC) No 2160/2003 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 17 November 2003 on the control of salmonella and other specified food-borne zoonotic agents (European Commission website)
- The Control of Salmonella in Poultry Scheme Order (NI) 2008 S.R. No. 263 (Revokes: S.R. 2007 No. 209) (legislation.gov.uk)
- The Control of Salmonells in Turkey Flocks Scheme Order (Northern Ireland) 2010 No. 248 (legislation.gov.uk)
- The Zoonoses (Fees) (Amendment) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2016 No. 75 (legislation.gov.uk)
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)
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.
- National Control Programme for Salmonella in Breeders (defra website)
- National Control Programme for Salmonella in Layers (defra website)
- National Control Programme for Salmonella in Broilers (defra website)
- National Control Programme for Salmonella in Turkeys (defra website)
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.
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 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 Newforgeemail@example.com||Newforge Lane
Belfast BT9 5PX
|028 9025 5689||1279|
|AFBI Stormontfirstname.lastname@example.org||Stoney Road
Belfast BT4 3SB
|028 9052 0011||2632|
|Beechwood Laboratoriesemail@example.com||120 Ballymena Road, Doagh, Ballyclare
|028 9335 2691||1724|
|Bio-Search (NI) Ltd||31 Dufferin Road
Belfast BT3 9AA
|028 9035 2066||1369|
|Mid-Antrim Laboratory Services||Pamela.firstname.lastname@example.org||42a Broughshane Road,
Ballymena BT43 7DX
|028 2564 4051||4594|
|Moy Park Ltdemail@example.com||49 Seagoe Industrial Estate
|028 3836 8115||4529|
|Advanced Micro Services & Environmental Laboratories Ltd (ALS)||Margaret.firstname.lastname@example.org||Carrigeen Business Park, Clonmel,
Co Tipperary, Ireland
|Agrihealth Laboratory Servicesemail@example.com||Clones Road,
|Irish Equine Centrefirstname.lastname@example.org
|+353 45 866266||151T*|
|Alpha Analytical Services Ltdemail@example.com||Caddagh Cross
|+353 25 39333||237T*|
|SperrinTechnical Laboratories Ltdfirstname.lastname@example.org
Dr Lorna Lawrence
|7 Quilly Road
*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
Tel: 028 9052 4715
More useful links
- Effective cleaning and disinfection of poultry housing
- Salmonella monthly laboratory test summary forms
- Salmonella - a guide for pig producers (Food Standards Agency)
- Salmonella NCP guide for breeders (gov.uk)
- Salmonella NCP guide for broilers (gov.uk
- Salmonella NCP guide for layers (gov.uk)
- Salmonella NCP guide for fattening turkeys (gov.uk)
- Salmonella NCP guide for breeding turkeys (gov.uk)