LOS ALAMITOS, Jan. 8, 2003–The U.S. Department of Agriculture announced today that it has expanded quarantine boundaries for exotic Newcastle disease (END) in specific areas of southern California.
USDA and the California Department of Agriculture (CDFA) have been working jointly with the poultry industry and residents to prevent the spread of the disease. The expanded quarantine creates a buffer zone around END infected sites and provides additional security against spread of the disease. To do this, additional quarantines are immediately being imposed on non-infected counties adjacent to those counties infected with disease through the declaration of extraordinary emergency issued by the USDA today.
The expanded quarantine boundaries encompass those counties with END-positive flocks; Los Angeles, Riverside, San Bernardino and San Diego. Additional counties include Santa Barbara, Ventura, Imperial, and Orange. This action also quarantines portions of infected counties that were not previously under quarantine.
Commercial poultry producers within the quarantine zone must comply with a mandatory reporting system that identifies increased mortality, decreased egg production, or any clinical symptoms suggestive of END. Commercial poultry producers are also being asked to increase biosecurity measures at facilities in these quarantined areas. Poultry and poultry products cannot be moved from the quarantined counties. However, eggs can be moved after they are washed, sanitized and packed in new materials.
END does not pose a risk to human health. Poultry and egg products are safe for consumers. END was first confirmed in backyard poultry in southern California in October 2002 and in commercial poultry in December 2002. As of January 4, 2003, USDA and CDFA have confirmed three commercial establishments with END. A taskforce of over 600 federal and state employees are working to prevent the further spread of the disease through a series of actions including identifying flocks, imposing quarantines, euthanizing and disposing of birds when appropriate, and cleaning and disinfecting infected sites, as well as providing educational resources to the poultry industry and community residents.
For more information regarding END in certain counties of southern California, visit www.aphis.usda.gov or www.cdfa.ca.gov.
California Department of Food and Agriculture Office of Public Affairs
1220 N St., Ste. 214, Sacramento, CA 95814