Virulent Newcastle Disease
Virulent Newcastle Disease Alert
Secure Food Supply (SFS) Plans
Notice: Per the Area Quarantine issued February 27, 2019, all commercial/independent/small poultry businesses shall enhance their biosecurity as required by CDFA. CDFA enhanced biosecurity requirements are contained in the California Secure Food Supply Guidance document and Secure Food Supply Plan template. CDFA and USDA are currently enforcing these requirements. One of the conditions for movement of poultry, eggs, supplies and other items that can spread vND, is approved and verified minimum biosecurity as outlined in the Secure Food Supply Guidance and Plan Template. If a farm is not meeting these biosecurity standards, movement permits will be revoked. Finally, violations of disease prevention minimum requirements can put indemnity in jeopardy if a farm becomes infected. Poultry related businesses not meeting these biosecurity standards will be subject to violations and fines.
For more information, please visit the California Secure Food Supply Page.
Disease Testing Overview
Time Lapse of 2018-19 Southern California VND Detections and Dangerous Contacts
VND Regional Quarantine
- May 3, 2019: Valley News - Virulent Newcastle disease quarantine continues, public needs to stay informed
- May 21, 2019: Food Safety News - California’s backyard poultry flocks falling dead from highly contagious virus
Virulent Newcastle Disease Public Service Announcement (PSA)
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Virulent Newcastle Disease (VND)
Virulent Newcastle disease (VND), formerly known as Exotic Newcastle Disease, is a serious, highly contagious viral disease that can affect poultry and other birds. In rare cases, humans that have exposure to infected birds may get eye inflammation or mild fever-like symptoms. These signs generally resolve without treatment, however, medical care should be sought if symptoms persist. Infection is easily prevented by using standard personal protective equipment. Virulent Newcastle disease is not a food safety concern. No human cases of Newcastle disease have ever occurred from eating poultry products. Properly cooked poultry products are safe to eat.
The virus is found in respiratory discharges and feces and may cause high rates of sickness and death in susceptible birds. For poultry, chickens are most susceptible and ducks and geese are the least susceptible. Mortality rates for Psittacine birds (parrots) can range from zero up to 75%. Certain parrots, especially Amazon parrots, can shed VND virus intermittently in excess of one year. Other birds may be infected, but may not show any symptoms and may still be able to spread the disease. Once VND is introduced into domestic avian populations, subsequent spread is normally caused by domestic bird-to-bird contact or through contact with contaminated people, feed or equipment. Other types of Newcastle disease known as lentogenic and mesogenic are less virulent and may cause mild symptoms or none at all.
There is no effective cure for virulent Newcastle Disease. It is important that all commercial and non-commercial poultry owners maintain effective barriers to mitigate the risk of VND.
- Biosecurity tips for commercial poultry owners
- Biosecurity tips for backyard and non-commercial poultry owners
Virulent Newcastle Disease Detected in Arizona
April 5, 2019: Virulent Newcastle disease (vND) was confirmed in a small flock of pet chickens in Coconino County, Arizona. This is the first case of vND in Arizona. More information here.
Virulent Newcastle Disease Confirmed in Northern California
March 15, 2019: One chicken, submitted to a veterinary office in Redwood City, by a backyard bird owner that lived in Alameda County, has been confirmed positive for VND and has been euthanized. At this moment, CDFA and USDA are not aware of any other cases in Northern California, but are very actively investigating.
Virulent Newcastle Disease Update: Quarantine Boundaries Modified in Southern California
SACRAMENTO, February 27, 2019 — California State Veterinarian Dr. Annette Jones today modified Southern California's quarantine area to further restrict bird movement as work continues to eradicate virulent Newcastle disease (VND). The quarantine mandates the reporting of sick birds and prohibits poultry owners from moving birds in all of Los Angeles County, and in large areas of San Bernardino and Riverside counties.
The modified quarantine extends from the northern and southern borders of western Riverside County to the Salton Sea-including the Coachella Valley-and as far east as Yucca Valley in San Bernardino County, with a northern boundary of State Route 58 at the Kern County line. The quarantine language and a map may be found at CDFA's VND Web site.
The quarantine requires bird owners to allow diagnostic testing, to isolate poultry from other species, to cease exhibitions, to stop the shipping and receiving of birds, and to enhance biosecurity.
"By modifying the quarantine area in Southern California, we are building upon an ongoing effort to eradicate virulent Newcastle disease," said Dr. Jones. "The primary way that VND spreads is by people moving sick birds. Extending the prohibition of bird movement across a larger area is the next logical step in being able to stop the spread of the virus and to eradicate the disease."
VND is a nearly-always fatal respiratory infection in poultry. Birds may seem healthy but will die within days of being infected. There is no cure. The virus is also transmitted by people who have VND on their clothes or shoes, and by equipment or vehicles that can transport the disease from place to place.
There are no human health concerns provided that any meat or eggs are cooked properly. People who come in direct contact with the virus may develop conjunctivitis-like symptoms or run a mild fever.
The only way to stop the virus and eradicate the disease is to euthanize birds. This includes all infected birds as well as birds within heavily-infected areas.
Since May 2018, staff from the California Department of Agriculture (CDFA) and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) have been working in joint incident command to eradicate VND in Southern California. The highly contagious virus has resulted, or will soon result, in the euthanasia of more than one million birds in Los Angeles, Riverside, San Bernardino, and Ventura counties.
Birds from four poultry industry producers in Riverside County and two poultry industry producer in San Bernardino County have also been infected with VND and all birds in those facilities have been or will be euthanized.
For more information about movement restrictions, biosecurity, and testing requirements, please call the Sick Bird Hotline (866) 922-2473 or email SFSPermits@cdfa.ca.gov
February 4, 2019: Two additional ranches with egg laying hens have been confirmed positive for vND. The first is a small ranch in San Bernardino County that was confirmed on January 22, 2019. The hens have been euthanized. The second is a larger commercial facility in Riverside County that was confirmed positive on February 1, 2019.
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.
Outbreaks of END severely affect the poultry industry. In 1971, a major outbreak occurred in commercial poultry flocks in Southern California. In all, 1,341 infected flocks were identified and almost 12 million birds were destroyed. The eradication program cost taxpayers $56 million, severely disrupted the operations of many producers and increased the prices of poultry and poultry products to consumers.
More information on Virulent Newcastle Disease
Industry Information Links
Organization for Animal Health (OIE) Information
Sick Bird Hotline
July 2, 2019
September 25, 2018