No new cases since May
SACRAMENTO – The California Department of Food and Agriculture and the U.S. Department of Agriculture have reduced the size of the Exotic Newcastle Disease (END) quarantine zone in Southern California by 84 percent, from more than 46,000 square miles to 7,300 square miles. San Diego, Santa Barbara, and Imperial counties—all previously under quarantine—have been thoroughly tested with no indication of the highly infectious END and are now free of quarantine restrictions. Areas of Los Angeles, San Bernardino, Riverside, Orange, and Ventura counties have also tested negative and been released. The last case of END in Southern California was detected in May.
The reduced quarantine zone includes portions of Los Angeles, San Bernardino, Riverside, Orange, Ventura and Kern counties. END Task Force teams continue to identify and test poultry in those areas. When a sufficient number of birds have tested negative for END, then the remaining area can be considered for quarantine release.
“This is a tremendous development in this program,” said CDFA Secretary William (Bill) J. Lyons, Jr. “We are able to make this change much sooner than we originally thought we would. But let’s not drop our guard. This disease could flare up in the coming months. Still, we remain cautiously optimistic that we can eradicate the disease in the not-so-distant future.”
Surveys of bird populations also continue in those Central and Northern California counties that might be at risk for END. The statewide ban on poultry exhibits will remain in place until California is completely free of the quarantine restrictions.
While a number of commercial poultry facilities in Southern California have been stricken with END, the disease has not been detected in the Central Valley, where a significant portion of the state’s $3 billion poultry industry is housed. “The joint response of the state and federal government has been instrumental in keeping the disease south of the Tehachapis,” said Bill Mattos, President of the California Poultry Federation. “We look forward to the day when the entire quarantine is lifted in California.”
To view the reduced quarantine zone residents can access maps at www.cdfa.ca.gov or contact the END Helpline at 1-800-491-1899. Anyone living within the new quarantine boundaries wishing to move poultry or other birds must have a permit issued by the END Task Force. Helpline operators will assist residents seeking those permits.
In addition to the joint action taken in California, the U.S. Department of Agriculture has also released Nevada, Arizona, and Texas from any remaining federal quarantine restrictions.
California Department of Food and Agriculture Office of Public Affairs
1220 N St., Ste. 214, Sacramento, CA 95814