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Amber Waves
116 followers -
Excellence Remembered Trust Inspired Since 1982
Excellence Remembered Trust Inspired Since 1982

116 followers
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Hello backyard poultry enthusiasts,

The California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) has identified a case of virulent Newcastle disease in a small flock of backyard exhibition chickens in Los Angeles County. The case was detected at the UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine’s California Animal Health & Food Safety Laboratory (CAHFS) when a private practitioner submitted a sick bird for testing. This is the first case of virulent Newcastle disease, previously referred to as exotic Newcastle disease, in the U.S. since 2003. CDFA is working with federal and local partners as well as poultry owners to respond to the finding. State officials have quarantined potentially exposed birds and are testing for the disease.

Virulent Newcastle disease is a highly contagious and deadly virus in birds; the virus is found in respiratory discharges and feces. Clinical signs in birds include:

sneezing
coughing
nasal discharge
green watery diarrhea
depression
neck twisting (example attached)
circling
muscle tremors
paralysis
decreased egg production
swelling around eyes and neck
sudden death.
It is essential that all poultry owners follow good biosecurity practices to help protect their birds from infectious diseases such as Newcastle. These include simple steps like washing hands and scrubbing boots before and after entering a poultry area; cleaning and disinfecting tires and equipment before moving them off the property; and isolating any birds returning from shows for 30 days before placing them with the rest of the flock.

For backyard flock owners, biosecurity measures are to use dedicated shoes and clothes when caring for them and not to use/wear those clothes/shoes in other areas.

Additional information on biosecurity can be found at:
https://www.aphis.usda.gov/aphis/ourfocus/animalhealth/animal-disease-information/avian-influenza-disease/birdbiosecurity

https://www.cdfa.ca.gov/ahfss/animal_health/BioSpecies/BioPoultry.html

https://www.cdfa.ca.gov/ahfss/animal_health/pdfs/AI/BiosecurityForBackyardAndPetBirds.pdf

https://www.aphis.usda.gov/aphis/ourfocus/animalhealth/animal-disease-information/avian-influenza-disease/birdbiosecurity

http://ucanr.edu/sites/poultry/biosec/

In addition to practicing good biosecurity, all bird owners should report sick birds or unusual bird deaths through California’s Sick Bird Hotline at 866-922-BIRD (2473). Additional information on VND and biosecurity for backyard flocks can be found at https://www.cdfa.ca.gov/ahfss/Animal_Health/Newcastle_Disease_Info.html

Sick or dead backyard birds can be submitted to CAHFS laboratories for post-mortem examination ($20 plus shipping and handling). Information on this program can be found at:
https://www.cdfa.ca.gov/ahfss/Animal_Health/pdfs/CAHFS_NecropsyFactsheet.pdf

For additional information on who to contact for issues regarding backyard poultry, see:
http://ucanr.edu/sites/poultry/contact/

Virulent Newcastle disease is not a food safety concern. No human cases of Newcastle disease have ever occurred from eating poultry products. Properly cooked poultry products are safe to eat. In very rare instances people working directly with sick birds can become infected. Symptoms are usually very mild, and limited to conjunctivitis and/or influenza-like symptoms. Infection is easily prevented by using standard personal protective equipment.

Please feel free to share widely.

This message was sent to you because you participated in the California Backyard Poultry Census. To undubscribe, please email Myrna Cadena at mmcadena@ucdavis.edu.

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