Sep 25, 2006 (CIDRAP News) – The US Department of Agriculture (USDA) said last week it would, under certain conditions, reimburse commercial poultry farms for the cost of stopping low-pathogenic H5 and H7 avian influenza outbreaks.Under a new rule, the USDA promised to provide “100 percent indemnity for specified costs” involved in eradicating H5 and H7 viruses at commercial poultry operations that participate in the National Poultry Improvement Program (NPIP), a voluntary federal, state, and industry program to prevent the spread of poultry diseases.Until now, the states usually handled reimbursement for the costs of fighting avian flu, and the provisions varied, the USDA said.”This program expansion strengthens U.S. protections against poultry diseases such as avian influenza,” said Dr. Ron DeHaven, head of the USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS). He said the change also helps ensure US compliance with international animal health guidelines that require countries to report all H5 and H7 virus detections.The program expansion will encourage testing and provide incentives to report outbreaks. It also demonstrates the USDA’s commitment to openness about H5 and H7 viruses in the country’s bird populations, officials said.Low-pathogenic avian flu poses no risk to human health, but the USDA’s policy is to eradicate H5 and H7 viruses because they can mutate into highly pathogenic forms, the agency said.The NPIP, dating back to the 1930s, is a coordinated effort to certify poultry flocks as free of diseases. Until now, only breeder flocks could be included in NPIP avian flu programs. The new rule expands the program to include commercial production flocks, including “table-egg layers, meat-type chickens, and meat-type turkeys.”To be eligible for full indemnification, commercial poultry facilities and states must meet certain requirements. The main requirements are that:States must have a surveillance program for all poultry.States must have APHIS-approved plans spelling out response and containment efforts in case of an H5 or H7 outbreak.Industry must maintain active surveillance that includes testing of birds and eggs.The new rule takes effect Sep 26, when it will be published in the Federal Register, the USDA said.In other developments, the USDA confirmed Sep 23 that the avian flu virus found in mallard ducks in Pennsylvania last month was the low-pathogenic North American strain of H5N1.Screening results announced Sep 2 pointed to a mild form of H5N1 virus in samples from mallards in Crawford County, Pa., but further testing was necessary, the agency said. Genetic testing excluded the possibility of the lethal Asian strain of H5N1 in the ducks.Mild forms of H5N1 have also been found recently in mallard ducks in Maryland and in two swans in Michigan.See also:Sep 23 USDA news release on the NPIP changesSep 23 USDA news release on mild H5N1 in Pennsylvania ducks
Di Canio’s men head into Saturday’s clash with Arsenal having picked up just one point from their first three games – and also have fixtures against Liverpool and Manchester United soon to come. But Di Canio is adamant he has seen enough encouraging signs to shrug off suggestions that he could start feeling the pressure if his side slump to another defeat against the Gunners. Di Canio said: “I never feel pressure. Even in 20 games’ time if we still had one point I would feel responsible but not under pressure – it is different. “After three games I am not worried. I know by December we will be nearly in the middle of the table. I’m sure about that. In December, January, February we will win many games and take off. “I’m sure about my strategy and philosophy and methodology. But it is difficult because in football there is panic, the players sometimes don’t believe in things. You have to believe that in 20 games’ time you will be in a different position.” Di Canio believes a lack of communication has proved a crucial part in his side’s sluggish start, having signed 13 foreign players – including deadline-day buys Fabio Borini and Andrea Dossena – over the summer. And he has demanded his new boys take it upon themselves to learn English as he seeks to cut out the kind of silly errors which sent them to defeat at Crystal Palace a fortnight ago. Di Canio added: “I can help but I can’t become a school teacher for the foreign players every single moment. They have to think they have decided to come to England so they have to speak English. “If you are intelligent and you really want to gel with the others you have to think one day I will learn five or 10 key words for the match. It takes five minutes, and it is their responsibility. “The communication is crucial because it helps you react in time. We must communicate on the field otherwise we will pay a price.” Sunderland boss Paolo Di Canio has launched a staunch defence of his start at the Stadium of Light and vowed he will lead the Black Cats to a comfortable mid-table position by Christmas. Di Canio could be tempted to start with a brand new strike force against Arsene Wenger’s men, with Borini set for his debut and Steven Fletcher pushing for his first start of the season. Fletcher got off the bench to score at Selhurst Park and while Di Canio doubts if the Scot will be fit enough to play a full match after his long-term ankle injury, he is convinced he can make a big difference. “We will see during the game if he gets 50 or 60 minutes,” added Di Canio. “It is very difficult for me to see him getting 90 minutes at the level I want to see from my players. “But he is fit enough to score a goal and cause problems for our opponents, and give more belief to my players – give them more energy and motivation to push forward and give him the ball.” Di Canio is set to keep faith in Jack Colback at left-back after singing the Academy product’s praises this week. John O’Shea is suspended after his sending-off against Palace. Press Association
Tournament head Roger Brennwald says “social distancing or matches played behind closed doors were out of the question for us from the start.”Roger Federer is a 10-time champion at the tournament in his hometown of Basel but he was set to miss the 50th edition of the event. He is skipping the rest of the 2020 season to let his right knee recover from two surgeries.___More AP sports: https://apnews.com/apf-sports and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports The U.S. Tennis Association has canceled several amateur events scheduled in August because of the coronavirus pandemic but is still planning to hold the U.S. Open starting Aug. 31.USTA National Championships in certain junior age groups for singles and doubles are being scrapped.That includes boys’ 18s in Orlando and girls’ 18s in San Diego in singles; boys’ 16s in Rome, Georgia, and girls’ 16s in Mobile, Alabama, in singles; and boys’ and girls’ 12s through 18s doubles in Orlando.Men’s and women’s USTA National Grass Court Championships in Newport, Rhode Island, are also among the tournaments eliminated.The USTA says “there was an inherent risk associated with hosting large numbers of individuals at one site, at one time, and would make risk mitigation difficult.” Associated Press Share This StoryFacebookTwitteremailPrintLinkedinRedditThe Latest on the effects of the coronavirus outbreak on sports around the world:___The Southeastern Conference is postponing the start of volleyball, soccer and cross country competition through at least the end of August because of COVID-19. The league says that provides more time to prepare for a safe return to competition on an adjusted timeline. The decision includes all exhibition and non-conference games.Each school will be responsible for any rescheduling of non-conference contests impacted by the postponement.The league hasn’t made any announcement on the football season. The Big Ten and Pac-12 have opted to only play conference games.The SEC’s 14 athletic directors convened Monday at league headquarters in Alabama to discuss fall sports.___ The New England Patriots have joined a growing list of NFL teams who hope to play home games this season in front of a significantly reduced number of fans to help reduce the spread of COVID-19.The team announced Tuesday that it plans to play in front of about 20% of Gillette Stadium’s capacity, if approved by state and local officials. The stadium’s capacity is just under 66,000. The Patriots also informed season ticket holders that if fans are allowed at the stadium, they will be asked to adhere to physical distancing of at least six feet. Tickets will be arranged in blocks of 10 seats or fewer, with the first eight rows of the stadium not in use. Face coverings will also be required at all times, parking for home games will be free at all Gillette Stadium lots, and all tickets will be mobile. Patriots season ticket holders will have the first opportunity to purchase individual game tickets. Any remaining ticket inventory will go on sale to the general public. ___ The Latest: SEC postpones start of three fall sports July 14, 2020 The group says the sort of COVID-19 testing and universal housing planned for the U.S. Open “would logistically and financially be incredibly difficult to create” at these national events.All sanctioned tennis has been suspended since March because of the pandemic. Competition is scheduled to resume in August.___The Swiss Indoors tennis tournament has been canceled because of the coronavirus pandemic.Organizers say it would be “irresponsible and logistically difficult to go ahead” amid uncertainty about public health and the economy.