As discussed and proposed at the March 2004 Massachusetts Poultry Enhancement Council meeting, the Department has reviewed ways to change the current fee structure for poultry testing.
It has been determined that the Massachusetts Department of Agricultural Resources (MDAR) has no legal means to collect for poultry testing, at this time. The General Laws of Massachusetts Chapter 75: Section 21, Fee for testing poultry (below) covers the University of Massachusetts and allows for them to collect the fees.
MDAR currently has a contract with the University of Connecticut for testing poultry. This contract expires on the last day of June 2005.
It is proposed that starting July 2005 the University of Connecticut bill the poultry producers directly for laboratory tests. The results would be:
1.The poultry producer would pay for all testing, which pertains to their flock.
2.The Department currently budgets $20,000 for poultry testing annually. This would no longer be a budget expense.
3.The Department currently assigns office hours for checking and paying the bills to the University of Connecticut. This would no longer be a budget expense.
4.The Department Inspectors would continue to do flock inspections and draw the samples, insuring disease control within Massachusetts.
5.The Department would continue to certify flock status for movements within Massachusetts.
6.The Department would continue to certify flock status for the NPIP.
7.All existing poultry testing programs would continue to be available to Massachusetts’s poultry producers.