Thursday, August 16, 2018

California: CDFA Expands Quarantine For Virulent Newcastle Disease (VND)

Updated Quarantine Order


Five weeks after the California's Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) ordered a poultry Quarantine In 2 Counties (San Bernardino & Riverside) due to outbreaks of Virulent Newcastle Disease - amid rising case counts and a surge in Los Angeles County - the agency has issued a second, follow-up quarantine order.
August 14, 2018 - California Area Quarantine Notice #2: Los Angeles and San Bernardino County Areas
 The operative part of the new order reads:
You are hereby notified that the State Veterinarian has imposed a Quarantine pursuant to Food and Agricultural Code, Section 9562 on the following population of animals and animal products:

Description of Population of Animals and Animal Products: Poultry species (including chickens, turkeys, ducks, geese, partridges, pheasants, quail, guinea fowl, peafowl (peacocks), doves, pigeons, grouse, swans, and ratites), poultry products including eggs, manure/fertilizer, and used equipment or other items that could be contaminated due to exposure to poultry or poultry manure.

Present Location: In those areas of Los Angeles and San Bernardino Counties as described above.

Reason for Quarantine:
This Quarantine is imposed because the population of animals and animal products described above may be infected with virulent Newcastle disease virus (VND) or may have been exposed to VND and can transmit an illness that could kill or seriously damage other birds, or may be at risk for such exposure.

Required Action: Pursuant to California Food and Agricultural Code Section 9562 and Title 3, California Code of Regulations, Section 1301 et seq., require the following:

  • Hold the population of animals and animal products described above on the premises where it is now located.
  • Segregate and Isolate the population of animals and animal products described above from other animals or products no later than: 5:00 PM on August 15, 2018.
  • The method of isolation shall be confinement to one premises in a pen, cage or other means that prevents poultry from moving off the premises.
  • No poultry or hatching eggs shall be moved onto the premises and no poultry, poultry products, used poultry equipment or other items that could spread disease due to contact with poultry or poultry manure shall be moved off the premises until this quarantine is rescinded or revised; or unless the owner has signed a compliance agreement with the California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) and such movement is made using a CDFA or United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) movement permit.
  • All owners shall immediately report any clinical signs suggestive of VND (described on CDFA website at and any unexpected decreases in egg production or increase in mortality (above expected rate for strain and age) by phone to the sick bird hot line at (866) 922-2473 or California State Veterinarian at (916) 900-5000.
  • Euthanize and Dispose of the population of poultry that cannot be isolated as described above. Due to the high risk of exposure to VND in the above designated disease control areas, CDFA or USDA will assist with euthanasia if poultry are free roaming and not isolated as described by 5:00 PM on August 16, 2018.

All outbreaks, so far, have been limited to backyard exhibition poultry. No commercial poultry operations have been affected yet. The last poultry outbreak in the United States was reported in 2003 (described below), although sporadic detections in wild birds have continued around the country.

This from the California Dept. of Food & Agriculture (Note: VND was called END - Exotic Newcastle Disease in 2003). 

The 2002-03 END outbreak, originally confirmed in backyard poultry in Southern California, spread to commercial poultry operations in California and backyard poultry in Arizona, Nevada and Texas.  The Governor of California declared a State of Emergency, the Secretary of the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) declared an Extraordinary Emergency, and local emergencies were declared in San Diego, Riverside, Los Angeles, and San Bernardino Counties.
A USDA and the California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) Task Force was formed that involved over 7,000 individuals rotating in and out over the course of the outbreak.  Trade restrictions resulting from the disease had negative impacts on California and U.S. poultry and egg producers.  The outbreak, from discovery to eradication, lasted eleven months.  The outbreak response led to the depopulation of 3.16 million birds at a cost of $161 million.
In 1971, an outbreak that began in Southern California led to the culling of 12 million birds and a loss of tens of millions of dollars.
We won't get a new weekly report until sometime tomorrow, but as of last weekend CDFA had reported - since May 18th - 93 cases of VND in backyard birds in California; 73 in San Bernardino County, 8 in Riverside County and 12 in Los Angeles County.
While there is a very slight risk of human infection, illness is generally mild and usually presents as conjunctivitis. The real threat is to the poultry industry, should the virus find its way again into commercial flocks.

Stay tuned.

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