‘Windshield inspection’ prompts poultry farm investigation

12-04-2007 | | |

Based on “windshield inspections,” meaning that officials drove by the farm and noticed something, the EPA will be investigating farms in Delaware (US).

Two farms in Delaware were inspected last week by the Environmental Protection Agency, and two more are scheduled to be inspected this week, according to Delaware Secretary of Agriculture Michael Scuse.
“We don’t have any idea of what they saw or what they think they saw that caused these farms to be chosen,” Scuse said. Scuse said it was upsetting that there was no warning given for the first two inspections in Delaware. “We were aware they were coming to the state, but we didn’t know where they were going until they called the morning of,” he said.
The Delaware Nutrient Management Commission sent a letter to the EPA, asking for several considerations. The EPA will give 48 hours notice of the farms they want to inspect, and a list of what the inspectors want to see. The agency also will practice biosecurity while on a farm and that at the very least, a preliminary report would be released within 30 days of the inspection, detailing what they found.
“We’re being told that this is a national initiative,” Scuse said, to his knowledge, Delaware and Maryland are the only two states in the region that have received inspections thus far. Speaking with his counterparts in New Jersey, Virginia and West Virginia, the random, unannounced inspections have not taken place in those states. The Delaware congressional delegation also are asking questions about the inspections, trying to ensure that the industry is treated fairly.
“We don’t think these inspections are necessary,” Scuse said. “Our program should be a model for the rest of the country to use. This is disruptive and harmful to the whole industry.”

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