News Release
California Department of Food and Agriculture
Media Contact:
Steve Lyle, Office of Public Affairs, (916) 654-0462, slyle@cdfa.ca.gov
OUTBREAK OF EXOTIC NEWCASTLE DISEASE DETECTED IN SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA
CDFA
Release #02-055
OUTBREAK OF EXOTIC NEWCASTLE DISEASE DETECTED IN
SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA
All bird owners urged to carefully watch for symptoms

SACRAMENTO– The California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) is investigating an outbreak of Exotic Newcastle Disease in small flocks of backyard birds in Southern California. The disease is known to spread rapidly and is associated with high mortality rates. CDFA is working with the United States Department of Agriculture to assess the extent of the spread and to contact bird owners about the disease. So far, tracing activities do not indicate that the disease has spread beyond Southern California, and it has not been detected in commercial flocks. There is no threat to public health.

Birds may catch Exotic Newcastle Disease through contact with other infected birds or contaminated materials. Movement of birds or materials can easily spread the disease. Symptoms include sneezing, coughing, nasal discharge, diarrhea, listlessness and sudden death.

Until the disease is under control, CDFA has suspended all poultry exhibitions at local fairgrounds, and all bird owners are being asked to stop the movement and sales of backyard birds. There could be additional measures in the near future to control the spread of the disease.

“It is vital for bird owners to know the symptoms of Exotic Newcastle Disease,” said CDFA Secretary William (Bill) J. Lyons, Jr. “I urge all bird owners to contact their veterinarians or CDFA immediately if they suspect the disease.”

California bird owners are asked to report suspicious cases by calling 1-800-491-1899.

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California Department of Food and Agriculture Office of Public Affairs
1220 N St., Ste. 214, Sacramento, CA 95814
916-654-0462, www.cdfa.ca.gov