Increased isolation and biosecurity will protect caged birds
SACRAMENTO- The Exotic Newcastle Disease (END) Task Force has formalized a policy that will change the way some birds are handled within the quarantine zone. Veterinarians working in the field will weigh several factors before making a final decision on the fate of these birds.
Any birds that test positive for END or are in dangerous contact with infected birds will continue to be euthanized. However, in cases where birds are not infected, and bird owners can demonstrate a biosecurity program that protects the birds, they may be spared. To achieve this, the owner must adhere to a quarantine protocol that will continue to keep the pet bird in protective isolation.
The policy came about through earnest discussions between the END Task Force and bird owners, with both sides committed to finding a solution other than immediate euthanasia of birds in close proximity to infected birds.
“We have been extremely pleased by the response of the Exotic Newcastle Disease Task Force, The California Department of Food and Agriculture, and the United States Department of Agriculture to our suggestions, many of which are reflected in this new policy,” said Dr. Benny Gallaway, President of the American Federation of Aviculture. “We believe all will benefit from the new policy, especially the many pet, cage and other birds which will be saved by the expanded opportunity for quarantine.”
The END Task Force is a cooperative effort between CDFA, USDA, the Governor’s Office of Emergency Services, the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection, the U.S. Forest Service, the California Conservation Corps, and the University of California’s Animal Health and Food Safety Laboratory System.
END infections have been confirmed in Los Angeles, Riverside, San Bernardino, San Diego and Ventura Counties.
Additional information on END may be found on the CDFA Website: www.cdfa.ca.gov. Residents with sick birds to report or questions should call the Exotic Newcastle Disease Hotline at
For More Information
Larry Hawkins, END Task Force
Dr. Benny Gallaway
American Federation of Aviculture
California Department of Food and Agriculture Office of Public Affairs
1220 N St., Ste. 214, Sacramento, CA 95814