This is a preliminary report on the analysis of the Community-wide baseline study to estimate the prevalence of Salmonella in laying hen flocks. It is being published pending the full analysis of the entire dataset from the baseline study. The report contains the elements necessary for the establishment of the Community target for reduction of Salmonella in laying hens in accordance with Article 4 of Regulation No 2160/2003 of the European Parliament and of the Council on the control of salmonella and other specified food-borne zoonotic agents. Although the final report will not be published until October 2006, key data such as the prevalence levels of salmonella in laying hens is not foreseen to change significantly with the publication of the final report which will contain the full analyses and results from the study. As the European Commission intends to set targets prior to publication of the final report, EFSA is publishing the preliminary analysis in keeping with its policy of openness and transparency.