The regional quarantine is still in effect. For a list of virulent Newcastle disease cases since the outbreak began in May 2018, visit the USDA VND website.

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December 23, 2019

Virulent Newcastle Disease Update from State Veterinarian Dr. Annette Jones

Over the past month, Virulent Newcastle disease cases have increased because people have violated the CDFA VND Regional Quarantine by moving infected birds or contaminated equipment and secondary spread to neighboring flocks.  We now have 20 new cases under investigation, all linked to the recent Bloomington area outbreak.  Most of the cases are in San Bernardino County, with two in Riverside County and one in Los Angeles County.   Backyard flocks as well as retail pet/feed stores are involved. 

Based on phylogenetic analysis and epidemiologic studies, we understand how the disease spreads in Southern California.  This highly contagious virus has been spread when people move exposed birds or equipment, or when people carry the virus to their own unfortunate flock on their hands and feet.   It moves long distances as people illegally move birds or equipment. When introduced to a new area, it is amplified as the previously uninfected poultry succumb until the environmental virus load is so great, the outbreak spreads from yard to yard.  Exposed poultry around a newly infected flock are the “virus amplifiers,” particularly just before they show signs of disease.

Put simply, your birds can spread the disease before they show symptoms, so the only way to stop it is to not move birds – period – if you are in the CDFA Regional Quarantine Area.

As a reminder, last year the disease was spread from San Bernardino to LA and Riverside counties and beyond, leading to widespread highly infected areas, infected poultry farms, the death of over 1.2 million birds, and significant financial and emotional strain on poultry owners and disease control agencies. 

We need your help to stop the spread of this virus and end this outbreak.  Specific actions you can take to protect the poultry in your community are on the CDFA VND website in our biosecurity videos, guidance documents and links, but general keys to success include:

Please work together to ensure we do not see this outbreak grow as it did in 2018.  Stopping the spread will take the combined effort of all bird owners.  Talk to your neighbors and friends.  Keep Southern California safe for poultry!

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December 9, 2019

Virulent Newcastle Disease Update from State Veterinarian Dr. Annette Jones

In November and December of 2019, CDFA and USDA have detected a total of 6 new confirmed cases of virulent Newcastle disease in backyard poultry and at a retail feed store in western San Bernardino County. Information gathered so far indicates that these cases are linked, but we are still working to find additional connections and potentially more cases.

As a result of these findings, we have euthanized poultry on confirmed infected and exposed properties in the Bloomington-area and have intensified testing in the neighborhoods surrounding the infected flocks.    

In an effort to minimize the impact of this new pocket of disease on the entire area, our epidemiologists continue to explore multiple disease response strategies with an eye towards preventing a major outbreak from reoccurring.  

All strategies currently under consideration will involve more testing in areas we have already tested at least once, including in Los Angeles and Riverside counties. While these recent cases are in San Bernardino County and our last positive cases in Los Angeles and Riverside counties were in May 2019 and September 2019, significant historical evidence shows that infected birds are moved frequently between these counties, so as long as we have remaining pockets of disease, a substantial risk of spread exists.

We are hoping that we can keep moving toward eradication and freedom from disease. Success depends on community efforts. Stay vigilant, report sick birds, and take actions to protect your birds and your community’s birds from disease.  Do not move birds and do not allow new poultry on your property.

While the vast majority of people in affected communities have made the commitment and sacrifice needed to stop this outbreak, some have ignored our quarantine and even encouraged others to ignore the quarantine. We all need to work together so we can eliminate this virus entirely from California and return to an environment that supports healthy backyard birds and poultry farms.

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November 19, 2019

Virulent Newcastle Disease Update from State Veterinarian Dr. Annette Jones

A new detection of virulent Newcastle Disease was identified on November 18, 2019 at a retail feed and pet store in western San Bernardino County. The store is linked to the two recently confirmed positive premises in western San Bernardino County.  This new premises is approximately 1 km outside the boundary of the current control area and control area expansion is being reviewed.

VND response team members from the California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) are working to establish control measures including mandatory euthanasia of infected and exposed birds and surveillance testing near the retail feed and pet store where infection was detected. We are moving quickly to investigate the origin of disease.

Detections of VND have decreased greatly over the last few months. Our priority remains to stop the spread of the virus and eradicate the disease. We have made significant progress toward this goal by identifying and clearing remaining pockets of disease, but this case reminds all bird owners in Southern California to remain aware of VND signs, practice good biosecurity, stop illegal movement of birds from property to property, and report any sick birds immediately to the Sick Bird Hotline, 866-922-2473. More information about VND, including biosecurity guidelines to keep birds healthy, is available on the CDFA virulent Newcastle disease web page.

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November 15, 2019

Virulent Newcastle Disease Update from State Veterinarian Dr. Annette Jones

There were new detections of virulent Newcastle disease (VND) on November 14 at two neighboring residential properties in western San Bernardino County. These are the first detections of VND in Southern California since September 4. These cases were identified when a bird owner at one of the properties contacted a veterinarian.

VND response team members from the California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) are working to establish control measures including mandatory euthanasia of infected and exposed birds and surveillance testing near the property where infection was detected. We are moving quickly to investigate the origin of disease. 

Detections of VND have decreased greatly over the last few months. Our priority remains to stop the spread of the virus and eradicate the disease. We have made significant progress toward this goal by identifying and clearing remaining pockets of disease, but this case reminds all bird owners in Southern California to remain aware of VND signs, practice good biosecurity, stop illegal movement of birds from property to property, and report any sick birds immediately to the Sick Bird Hotline, 866-922-2473. More information about VND, including biosecurity guidelines to keep birds healthy, is available on the CDFA virulent Newcastle disease web page.

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October 22, 2019

Virulent Newcastle Disease Update: Transition to Freedom of Disease Phase

The CDFA/USDA VND response team has started the “Freedom of Disease” phase in which we continue surveillance and testing of birds to detect and quickly eradicate any small pockets of infection (if present). There have been no new positive detections of VND since early September, but the Regional Quarantine is still in place at this time.

A sufficient number of negative VND tests from the community will help meet international standards to demonstrate freedom from VND and allow the regional quarantine to be lifted. This phase will take place over the next few months, bearing in mind that if any positives are found, it would potentially create a setback to this process. We are sincerely grateful for the continued cooperation and support from the community.

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October 11, 2019

Saddle Ridge Fire Animal Evacuations (vND)

Saving human and animal life in the face of natural disasters like fires is always a priority. In the event of an emergency, mandatory evacuation orders have priority over VND quarantine requirements prohibiting bird movement. Ideally, any evacuations that include poultry within the CDFA VND Regional Quarantine Area should be done in a way that minimizes disease threat to other birds, in addition to the birds that are being moved.  If possible, poultry should be moved to a location that does not house any other poultry, and is within the regional quarantine area.  If that is not possible, steps should be taken to minimize risk by:

1.) Isolating the evacuated poultry from the resident poultry (or other groups of poultry)

2.) Keeping all poultry confined (no free roaming poultry, and minimize exposure to wild birds, rodents, and other pets)

3.) Practice biosecurity when caring for and handling the birds (dedicated clothing and footwear, wash hands after handling, and dedicated equipment for each set of group of poultry). For more biosecurity tips visit https://www.cdfa.ca.gov/ahfss/animal_health/BioSpecies/BioPoultry.html

This separation is important for protecting them from all poultry diseases, not only during the VND outbreak.

It will be critical to monitor their health carefully for 30 days and report illness or death loss to a veterinarian, the CDFA Sick Bird phone line 1-866-922-BIRD (2473), or contact the CAHFS San Bernardino Diagnostic Laboratory (if in Southern California) Phone: (909) 383-4287. 

Thank you very much for your attention in this matter.

 

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September 6, 2019

BIRD MOVEMENT FROM SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA VIRULENT NEWCASTLE DISEASE QUARANTINE AREA LED TO RECENT SAN DIEGO COUNTY DETECTION

Message to Bird Owners in Quarantined Areas: Do Not Move Your Birds

Statement from California State Veterinarian Dr. Annette Jones

An ongoing investigation has determined that infected birds moved from within the virulent Newcastle disease (VND) quarantine area in Riverside County led to the recent detection of the disease in the Ramona-area of San Diego County. This bird movement occurred in violation of the quarantine. It is important to note that any bird movement within a quarantined area is prohibited by law and violators are subject to fines ranging from $100 to $1,000, or up to $25,000 if a violator is proven to have moved the virus.

While we continue our surveillance and testing in the Ramona-area, we are hopeful that the rapid actions of responsible poultry owners and the CDFA/USDA VND response team have effectively contained the virus to a small area. Bird owners under quarantine are not permitted to move their birds, because exposed birds may appear healthy but could be in the early stages of infection and highly contagious to other birds. We are counting on community cooperation to help us stop the spread of VND and eradicate the disease.

It is critically important that bird owners under quarantine understand that moving birds, especially those that carry and shed the virus, put others at significant risk.

Mandatory euthanasia of infected and exposed poultry in connection with this incident has occurred at properties in San Diego and Riverside counties. The VND response team is conducting mandatory testing in the immediate areas surrounding the new cases, as well as conducting ongoing surveillance and testing within the quarantined areas in Riverside, San Bernardino and Los Angeles counties.

Detections of VND have decreased greatly over the last few months as response teams continue their work to detect any small pockets of infection, stop the spread of the virus, and eradicate the disease.

Bird owners in Southern California are urged to remain aware of VND signs, practice good biosecurity, and report any sick birds immediately to the Sick Bird Hotline 866-922-2473.

More information about VND and biosecurity guidelines to keep birds healthy are available on the CDFA virulent Newcastle disease web and Facebook pages. cdfa.ca.gov/go/VND

 

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August 31, 2019

Virulent Newcastle Disease Update from State Veterinarian Dr. Annette Jones

There was a new detection of virulent Newcastle disease (VND) on August 30 at a property in central San Diego County. This is the first detection of VND in San Diego County since this incident began in May 2018. This case was identified when a private veterinarian submitted dead birds to the California Animal Health and Food Safety (CAHFS) Laboratory System.

VND response team members from the California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) are working through the holiday weekend to establish control measures including restriction of bird movement, mandatory euthanasia of infected and exposed birds, and surveillance testing near the property where infection was detected. We are moving quickly to investigate the origin of disease as well as any movement of birds or equipment that could carry infection.

Detections of VND have decreased greatly over the last few months. Our priority remains to stop the spread of the virus and eradicate the disease. We have made significant progress toward this goal by identifying and clearing remaining pockets of disease, but this case reminds all bird owners in Southern California to remain aware of VND signs, practice good biosecurity, stop illegal movement of birds from property to property, and report any sick birds immediately to the Sick Bird Hotline, 866-922-2473. More information about VND, including biosecurity guidelines to keep birds healthy, is available on the CDFA virulent Newcastle disease web page.

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August 15, 2019

Virulent Newcastle Disease Update from State Veterinarian Dr. Annette Jones

Ongoing surveillance and testing in the virulent Newcastle disease (VND) incident in Southern California has resulted in the detection of a new case on August 14 at a retail feed store in western San Bernardino County.

This is the first detection of VND since June 4.  Staff members from the California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) discovered the infected birds during a routine biosecurity check. Infected and exposed birds have been euthanized and the store has been temporarily closed while an investigation is under way.  

We are moving quickly to determine the origin of disease and working with the store to identify any customers who may have purchased infected birds and products like feed, equipment, or anything else that could carry infection. Our priority is to stop the spread of the virus and eradicate the disease, and while we’ve made significant progress, this case is instructive for all bird owners in Southern California to remain aware of VND signs, practice good biosecurity, don’t move birds, and report any sick birds immediately to the Sick Bird Hotline 866-922-2473.