The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Food Safety and Inspection Service on July 16 announced that it will now consider avian leukosis as a trimmable condition.

The decision comes in a formal response to a petition NCC filed on March 1, 2019. NCC’s petition requested that FSIS “treat lesions that could be suspected as being caused by avian leukosis as a trimmable condition and not a condition that requires whole bird condemnation.”

“Amending the regulations is supported by scientifically and economically sound rationales,” the petition said. “Avian leukosis does not present a food-safety risk, modern understanding of the avian disease is much more advanced that when FSIS first developed its policy, the condition is not a systemic disease, modern vaccination and breeding programs have all but eliminated avian leukosis, and amending the regulation would reduce unnecessary regulatory burdens.”

“After careful consideration, FSIS has decided to grant your petition,” said FSIS Office of Policy and Program Development Assistant Administrator Rachel Edelstein in a formal response letter. “We have determined that current scientific evidence supports treating avian leukosis as a trimmable condition and that the actions requested in your petition would reduce regulatory burdens on the industry.”

NCC’s petition can be found here. FSIS’s response can be found here.