Border Governors Conference adopts California/Baja California joint response plan
SACRAMENTO – The Border Governors Conference in Chihuahua, Mexico today honored the veterinary staffs of California and Baja California by adopting its joint response plan against Exotic Newcastle Disease (END) as a model of cooperation between U.S and Mexico border states.
The Baja California Fomento Agropecuario (Department of Agriculture) provided teams of veterinarians to assist the Exotic Newcastle Disease Task Force with outreach—including communication at commercial poultry facilities—and with work on epidemiology. The B.C. veterinarians have played a significant role in the eradication effort, which is moving closer to completion with the announcement last week that the size of the quarantine zone in Southern California was reduced by nearly 85 percent.
The Border Governors Conference recognized these successes by adopting a regional plan for prevention and mitigation of future END outbreaks based on the cooperative effort between California and Baja California. A significant component of the plan will be the promotion of biosecurity practices for farm owners and poultry owners in the border region.
“This development is further evidence that the agricultural challenges faced by the U.S. and Mexico are regional issues that don’t recognize borders,” said CDFA Secretary William (Bill) J. Lyons, Jr., who attended the Border Governors Conference as co-chair of its Agriculture Work Table. “A region-wide biosecurity plan helps to protect both of our countries from future outbreaks of this devastating bird disease.”
Exotic Newcastle Disease is a highly contagious bird illness. The eradication effort has resulted in the deaths of millions of birds in Southern California since last fall. A quarantine remains in effect for portions of Riverside, San Bernardino, Los Angeles, Orange, Ventura and Kern counties.
The Border Governors Conference is an annual meeting of 10 U.S. and Mexican border states: California, Baja California, Arizona, Chihuahua, New Mexico, Coahuila, Texas, Tampico, Sonora and Nuevo Leon.
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