Newcastle Disease Updates

Here are the latest updates on the Newcastle Disease outbreak in California. Some new cases reported recently, but things still trending in a positive direction. As always, we will continue to monitor the situation as AgFest 2020 approaches and follow the mandates/recommendations of the CDFA as they relate to our poultry shows in 2020.

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November 19, 2019

Virulent Newcastle Disease Update from State Veterinarian Dr. Annette Jones

A new detection of virulent Newcastle Disease was identified on November 18, 2019 at a retail feed and pet store in western San Bernardino County. The store is linked to the two recently confirmed positive premises in western San Bernardino County.  This new premises is approximately 1 km outside the boundary of the current control area and control area expansion is being reviewed.

VND response team members from the California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) are working to establish control measures including mandatory euthanasia of infected and exposed birds and surveillance testing near the retail feed and pet store where infection was detected. We are moving quickly to investigate the origin of disease.

Detections of VND have decreased greatly over the last few months. Our priority remains to stop the spread of the virus and eradicate the disease. We have made significant progress toward this goal by identifying and clearing remaining pockets of disease, but this case reminds all bird owners in Southern California to remain aware of VND signs, practice good biosecurity, stop illegal movement of birds from property to property, and report any sick birds immediately to the Sick Bird Hotline, 866-922-2473. More information about VND, including biosecurity guidelines to keep birds healthy, is available on the CDFA virulent Newcastle disease web page.

November 15, 2019

Virulent Newcastle Disease Update from State Veterinarian Dr. Annette Jones

There were new detections of virulent Newcastle disease (VND) on November 14 at two neighboring residential properties in western San Bernardino County. These are the first detections of VND in Southern California since September 4. These cases were identified when a bird owner at one of the properties contacted a veterinarian. 

VND response team members from the California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) are working to establish control measures including mandatory euthanasia of infected and exposed birds and surveillance testing near the property where infection was detected. We are moving quickly to investigate the origin of disease. 

Detections of VND have decreased greatly over the last few months. Our priority remains to stop the spread of the virus and eradicate the disease. We have made significant progress toward this goal by identifying and clearing remaining pockets of disease, but this case reminds all bird owners in Southern California to remain aware of VND signs, practice good biosecurity, stop illegal movement of birds from property to property, and report any sick birds immediately to the Sick Bird Hotline, 866-922-2473. More information about VND, including biosecurity guidelines to keep birds healthy, is available on the CDFA virulent Newcastle disease web page.

October 22, 2019

Virulent Newcastle Disease Update: Transition to Freedom of Disease Phase

The CDFA/USDA VND response team has started the “Freedom of Disease” phase in which we continue surveillance and testing of birds to detect and quickly eradicate any small pockets of infection (if present). There have been no new positive detections of VND since early September, but the Regional Quarantine is still in place at this time.

A sufficient number of negative VND tests from the community will help meet international standards to demonstrate freedom from VND and allow the regional quarantine to be lifted. This phase will take place over the next few months, bearing in mind that if any positives are found, it would potentially create a setback to this process. We are sincerely grateful for the continued cooperation and support from the community.

October 11, 2019

Saddle Ridge Fire Animal Evacuations (vND)

Saving human and animal life in the face of natural disasters like fires is always a priority. In the event of an emergency, mandatory evacuation orders have priority over VND quarantine requirements prohibiting bird movement. Ideally, any evacuations that include poultry within the CDFA VND Regional Quarantine Area should be done in a way that minimizes disease threat to other birds, in addition to the birds that are being moved.  If possible, poultry should be moved to a location that does not house any other poultry, and is within the regional quarantine area.  If that is not possible, steps should be taken to minimize risk by:

1.) Isolating the evacuated poultry from the resident poultry (or other groups of poultry)

2.) Keeping all poultry confined (no free roaming poultry, and minimize exposure to wild birds, rodents, and other pets)

3.) Practice biosecurity when caring for and handling the birds (dedicated clothing and footwear, wash hands after handling, and dedicated equipment for each set of group of poultry). For more biosecurity tips visit https://www.cdfa.ca.gov/ahfss/animal_health/BioSpecies/BioPoultry.html

This separation is important for protecting them from all poultry diseases, not only during the VND outbreak.

It will be critical to monitor their health carefully for 30 days and report illness or death loss to a veterinarian, the CDFA Sick Bird phone line 1-866-922-BIRD (2473), or contact the CAHFS San Bernardino Diagnostic Laboratory (if in Southern California) Phone: (909) 383-4287.  

Thank you very much for your attention in this matter.

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The regional quarantine is still in effect (see map here). For a list of virulent Newcastle disease cases since the outbreak began in May 2018, visit the USDA VND website.

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Attention: The United States Postal Service (USPS) is not allowing shipments of live birds (all) or hatching/embryonated eggs into or out of zip codes 90000-93599 in California. For more information: https://postalpro.usps.com/node/6643