SC NPIP Requirements

NPIP certification is for breeder flocks. If you have a breeding flock, then the NPIP program is for you.

Please read everything below. If after reading you are still interested for your breeder flock to become NPIP certified for Pullorum Clean status - please contact me (, desk 803-726-7802, cell 803-260-6442) to set up an appointment to begin the process (Pullorum testing and site inspection).

If you also show or move birds or hatching eggs to North Carolina, Virginia, Texas, Pennsylvania, besides being NPIP Pullorum Clean, your flock will also need to become NPIP Avian Influenza (AI) Clean, since these states have avian influenza testing requirements.

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SC NPIP & Poultry Information webpage:

Specific NPIP breeder flock requirements:

SC NPIP Class & Backyard Flock Seminars:  Topics include: NPIP & Small Flock Certification and NPIP Tester's License certification. Other backyard flock seminars throughout the year include topics on starting up a flock, poultry disease & pest management, biosecurity, etc.

Game Birds & NPIP:

Poultry Diseases Information:

Contact other States to get their poultry import requirements before sending birds or hatching eggs to live there or to be in a show (Official State Agencies of the National Poultry Improvement Plan):

SC requirements to bring poultry into our State:

SC National Poultry Improvement Plan (NPIP) breeder flock program:
If you plan to sell hatching eggs, day-old chicks or older birds to people then your farm/hatchery can become a participant under the NPIP program. If you are moving hatching eggs, babies, or older birds across state lines (whether to live there or just to go to a show), then it is required to become NPIP Certified in order to meet the other state’s entry requirements and the new Federal Interstate Movement Law requirements. Birds either coming into SC or leaving SC need to be tested negative for 2 salmonella diseases of poultry called Pullorum and Typhoid, birds need to be individually identified (State approved leg/wing bands), and need official movement documents.

As a NPIP Certified participant, your breeder birds will need to be tested for Pullorum-Typhoid every year and your premises inspected every year. The inspection is to make sure that your bird pens and buildings for brooding or holding the incubators/hatchers are clean and orderly without storage items or garbage laying around, rats and mice are not running around, and the pens and machines are cleaned out routinely; and to be sure you are maintaining the required NPIP records. NPIP is about disease monitoring, sanitation, and record keeping.

For the first time to qualify your premises as Pullorum-Typhoid Clean, 100% (all poultry-type birds on the farm, breeders and others – but not pigeons or doves) need to be tested. After that only the breeders and setters (100% or 300 birds maximum) need to be tested every year and any new birds before they are brought onto the farm. Any hatching eggs or birds sold to out-of-state buyers will need to be accompanied with the NPIP 9-3 Movement Form. See this link for more NPIP breeder requirements:

You can become a SC private NPIP tester by taking our NPIP testers course ( Let me know and I will add you to my class announcement list.

1. If the breeder flock is testing for Pullorum Clean status for the very first time:

a. A State Tester will Pullorum test the birds (there is a fee for this, $0.35 per bird currently).
b. If you are a private SC NPIP licensed Tester or using one, than a State Tester must also be present with the licensed NPIP tester to authorize that the first qualifying test is negative. The State Tester is there to observe the testing, assist with the process, but not to perform the testing for the NPIP tester.
c. 100% of the birds (except pigeons or doves) on the farm must all be tested for Pullorum to prove no poultry on the premise has Pullorum.
d. A State Tester must do a NPIP inspection on the flock and bird housing/hatchery – see #4 below for inspection requirements.
e. The farm is registered to get an official SC Premises ID number.

2. If the breeder flock is testing for its annual Pullorum Clean status follow-up:

a. A State Tester will Pullorum test the birds (there is a fee for this, $0.35 per bird currently) or a private SC licensed NPIP tester can do the testing. If you are a private licensed NPIP tester and the flockowner, the State Tester will ask you to perform the Pullorum test on a few birds in front of them later during the inspection. This helps to continually recertify you as an authorized tester, to be sure you are doing the test properly.
b. The breeders and any birds used as “setters” or mixed in with the breeder birds must be tested. 300 is the maximum number you need to test if you have over 300 breeders/setters.
c. Any new birds added to the farm (future breeders or fun birds) must be tested before bringing onto farm and mixing with Pullorum negative breeder flock—the private licensed NPIP tester can do this on their own. Proof of Pullorum-Typhoid Clean status or testing must be kept as records and available to show at the annual inspection. Any out-of-state birds added to the farm must also have copies of the official movement document (NPIP 9-3 movement form or SC Record of Interstate Movement form).
d. A State Tester will do a NPIP inspection of the flock and bird housing/hatchery annually.

3. If the breeder flock is testing for Avian Influenza (AI) Clean status:

a. Some states (NC, VA, PA, TX, etc.) require that poultry entering their state are individually tested negative for AI or come from breeder flocks that are classified as NPIP AI Clean. This is above and beyond the NPIP Pullorum Clean requirements.
b. For NPIP AI Clean, a maximum 30 breeder birds are sampled for AI every 6 months to maintain this status.
c. AI samples (throat swabs) are collected by a State Tester or State Inspector and submitted to the Clemson Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory for PCR testing. There is a fee for this test, $35.00 for every 11 birds. Sometimes there is USDA grant funding to help pay for the test.

4. NPIP breeder flock participant requirements and the annual inspection:

a. The breeding stock, replacement breeders and birds used as “setters” or birds mixed in with the breeder birds must be Pullorum-Typhoid blood tested negative every 12 months. Each bird tested shall be identified with a SC NPIP numbered leg or wing band. The first time a flock is tested for Pullorum-Typhoid Clean status, 100% of the flock must be tested and supervised by a State Tester.
b. Annual inspection of flock, bird housing, hatchery and records.
c. New birds added to the farm (breeding or miscellaneous) must be tested Pullorum-Typhoid negative before adding to the flock if they are not coming from an U. S. Pullorum-Typhoid Clean flock. Proof of Pullorum-Typhoid Clean status or testing must be kept as records and available to show at the annual inspection.
d. Poultry equipment, poultry houses/pens and the land in the immediate vicinity shall be kept in sanitary condition. The participating flock (tested breeder birds), their eggs and all equipment used in connection with the breeder flock shall be separated from non-participating flocks.
e. All flocks shall consist of healthy, normal individuals, characteristic of the breed, variety, cross or other combination, which they are stated to represent.
f. Hatcheries, including brooder rooms, shall be kept in sanitary condition: (1) Entire hatchery shall be shall be kept in a neat, orderly condition and free from accumulated dust; (2) Incubator walls, floors and trays shall be kept free from debris, such as broken eggs and eggshells; (3) Hatchers and trays shall be cleaned and disinfected after each hatch. Hatchery residue (eggshells, pips, etc.) shall be disposed of promptly and in a manner satisfactory to the SC NPIP State Inspector; (4) Tops of incubators and hatchers shall be kept clean (not used for storage); (5) No birds or other animals are allowed in the incubator/hatcher rooms (no birds held or brooded in the same room as the machines).
g. All poultry offered for sale shall be normal and typical of the breed, variety or cross. Hatching eggs shall be sound in shell and typical for the breed, variety or cross.
h. Records, which include name & address, date of purchases and sales of birds or hatching eggs shall be maintained and will be subject to inspection by the SC NPIP State Inspector.
i. Any unused NPIP forms you have checked out to you (Pullorum Testing Records if you are a licensed NPIP tester or NPIP 9-3 movement forms) will be inventoried.
j. Contact the NPIP Office at (803) 726-7802 or (803) 260-6442 (cell), if you plan to move hatching eggs, chicks or birds across state lines for any reason (see #2 below in the laws/regs section) as you will need NPIP 9-3 movement forms. You will need to contact the state of destination for their requirements (

5. What happens when a bird tests positive on the Pullorum-Typhoid test?

a. Pullorum-Typhoid is a Reportable Animal Disease to the State Veterinarian’s Office (where I work). These are very important Salmonella bacteria diseases of poultry and is why we have these programs to make sure that breeding flocks are and stay negative. I do want you to understand ahead of time what happens if a bird tests positive to the Pullorum-Typhoid test. Luckily these are rare events.
b. For Pullorum Clean certification, if all your birds test negative to the Pullorum-Typhoid test and you pass the inspection, then your flock is certified as Pullorum-Typhoid Clean for 12 months, after which you have to retest and pass inspection to keep that certification.
c. If you are just testing individual birds for different reasons, then a negative test is a step in a process of getting the birds across state lines, allowed entrance into fairs/shows, etc.
d. If a bird has a positive test to the field plate screening test or the lab test, the bird is called a reactor. These screening tests do not confirm the bird is or has been infected with the Salmonella Pullorum or Fowl Tyhoid, it is only a screening test for antibodies (proteins) in the blood which may be past exposure to these 2 diseases. Sometimes other types of Salmonella bacteria, other diseases, or other proteins in the blood cause this test to react, what we call “false positive” reactors.
e. For any positive plate screening tests, all birds are put under a “Hold Order” so that no birds can leave the home premises until we find out if the birds have the disease or not. Blood is taken from the reactor bird(s) and a more specific lab test is performed. If the lab test is negative, then the flock is considered negative and gets the Clean certification with the passing inspection; or is allowed to continue the individual bird testing process (cross state lines, go to the fair, etc.).
f. If the lab test is positive, then there are 2 options at that moment: 1) the reactor bird is euthanized and the internal and reproduction organs are cultured looking for Salmonella pullorum or Salmonella (“typhoid”) bacteria. If the cultures are negative, then the Hold Order is released and the flock is certified as Clean or negative. 2) The 2nd option at this moment is to wait 30 days and redo the lab blood test—this is in case it is not Pullorum-Typhoid, but something else causing the reaction, and giving the bird extra time to clear the non-Pullorum/Typhoid proteins out of the blood. If the 2nd lab blood test is positive again, then the reactor bird is brought to the lab to be euthanized and sampled for internal organ/reproduction salmonella cultures.
g. If the cultures grow Salmonella Pullorum or Typhoid bacteria, then that is the confirmation test. A quarantine is placed on the premises and testing of all of the birds on the premises will continue every 30 days until all birds test negative for 3 monthly tests in a row or all birds are voluntarily depopulated, it depends on the situation. We must be sure that the infected birds or contaminated equipment did not spread it to the other birds in the flock or to other farms.
h. I do not mean to scare you away, but want you to be aware of the process. I have been working here since 1996, and we do get some false positive plate screening reactors every year. Most of these test negative on the lab blood test. Only about 7 cases had a positive lab blood test and had their birds euthanized and cultured for salmonella at the lab. All but 1 flock were negative on the culture. So luckily in South Carolina, Pullorum-Typhoid is not a common disease – BUT we need to continue to look for it.

6. What happens when a bird tests positive on the Avian Influenza test?

a. Avian Influenza is a Reportable Animal Disease to the State Veterinarian’s Office.
b. If a bird has a positive blood test (which looks for antibodies to AI or past exposure to AI) or if a bird has a positive PCR oropharyngeal swab test (which looks for current infection – actual genetic pieces of the virus) – further testing must be done to confirm this test.
c. All birds are put under a “Hold Order” so that no birds can leave the home premises until we find out if the birds have the disease or not. More blood and swabs may be collected from other birds.
d. The positive blood and/or PCR tests are sent to the USDA Laboratory in Ames, IA. USDA will confirm the test – if it is AI positive or negative – and they will do further testing to determine what type of AI it is (H7N2, H5N2, etc.) and if it is Low-Path (mild version) or High-Path (severe form) of AI.
e. If USDA cannot confirm the tests are positive for AI, the Hold Order is released.
f. If USDA confirms the tests are positive for AI – then it depends on the subtype of the AI virus infection, if it is Low-Path or High-Path, and if the flock is actively infected with AI or had a previous infection in the past. Essentially it is on a case-by-case basis on the outcome of the flock, whether it will be depopulated or not.