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#23558 - 10/09/02 01:24 AM Outbreak of Exotic Newcastle Disease  
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For Immediate Release Contact:
Steve Lyle
October 3, 2002 Leticia Rico
Release# CDFACDFA02-055 Larry Hawkins
916/952-1595, 916-857-6243

OUTBREAK OF EXOTIC NEWCASTLE DISEASE DETECTED IN
SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA
All bird owners urged to carefully watch for symptoms

SACRAMENTO- The California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA)is investigating an outbreak of Exotic Newcastle Disease in
small flocks of backyard birds in Southern California. The disease is known to spread rapidly and is associated with high mortality rates. CDFA is working with the United States Department of Agriculture to assess the
extent of the spread and to contact bird owners about the disease. So far, tracing activities do not indicate that the disease has spread beyond
Southern California, and it has not been detected in commercial flocks. There is no threat to public health.

Birds may catch Exotic Newcastle Disease through contact with other infected birds or contaminated materials. Movement of birds or materials can
easily spread the disease. Symptoms include sneezing, coughing, nasal discharge, diarrhea, listlessness and sudden death.

Until the disease is under control, CDFA has suspended all poultry exhibitions at local fairgrounds, and all bird owners are being asked to stop the movement and sales of backyard birds. There could be additional measures in the near future to control the spread of the disease.

"It is vital for bird owners to know the symptoms of Exotic Newcastle
Disease," said CDFA Secretary William (Bill) J. Lyons, Jr. "I urge all bird owners to contact their veterinarians or CDFA immediately if they suspect the disease."

California bird owners are asked to report suspicious cases
by calling
1-800-491-1899.

One person said she spoke with Larry Hawkins from CDFA and he said that any MART and Show, sales etc., done on State/ county Fair Grounds
(in California) will not be allowed until further notice. Those people who are putting marts on private property however, cancontinue at this time even though it is their strong recommendation that they do not have any marts,
shows, or sales until further notice.

The State still may exercise the right to call a halt to all exhibits public and private. So far ostriches, chickens, pigeons and doves, have been
depopulated due to New Castles and there are 3 counties and 7 cities are
under investigation in Southern California.

http://www.cdfa.ca.gov/exec/pa/pressreleases/PressRelease.asp?PRnum=CDFA02-055

Another person wrote they had just spoken to their local veterinarian about obtaining a health certificate, and was told that Canada, Hawaii, Mexico and France have banned any imports of birds or poultry and poultry products from
California and that he would have to check with USDA tomorrow about shipping birds to other states.

A zoo person said that birds they had ordered could not be shipped to them until the VVND situation was completely resolved. Dr. Coats pointed out that a wide variety of pet and wild
birds can carry the disease. He urged flock owners to check birds and report signs of
illness to the TAHC at 1-800-550-8242. TAHC or USDA veterinarians can work with private practitioners at no charge to collect samples for
testing. Signs to watch for include:
* birds that gasp and cough
* birds that exhibit central nervous system disorders, such as circling, depression, paralysis, drooping wings or dragging legs
* birds that produce fewer eggs
* birds that have greenish diarrhea
* birds that develop swelling of tissues around the eyes and neck
* unusually high death losses in the flock

Dr. Coats said laboratory testing is needed to confirm a clinical diagnosis of the Newcastle Disease, as signs can also mimic those of
other poultry diseases. Carrier birds can spread the virus through respiratory discharges or feces.
Caretakers can also become mechanical carriers of the disease, as the virus can be picked up and carried on shoes and clothing, feed trucks or
equipment. In warm, humid weather, the virus can survive several weeks; in cold temperatures, it can remain alive indefinitely. Viral disinfectants,dry weather and sunlight kill the virus.

Richardson said people who visit a feed store, a
neighbor's farm, coffee shop or grocery store should change their clothes and disinfect footwear
before returning to their poultry houses. "It's just too easy to get clothing or footwear contaminated with a disease-causing virus and then
carry it home," he said.

He said an outbreak in southern California in 1971 resulted in the depopulation of nearly 12 million birds on 1,341 farms. That outbreak,
which cost taxpayers $56 million, took three years to eradicate, and disrupted poultry production and trade, and impacted prices
of poultry products.

#23559 - 10/09/02 04:24 AM Re: Outbreak of Exotic Newcastle Disease  
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OMG. I'm sure many people do not realize the peril this announcement represents. This 1971 epidemic they refer to is why The American Federation of Aviculture was formed. The "cost to taxpayers" was nothing compared to the emotional and genetic costs when every exotic bird the government could get it's hands on was killed in an attempt to protect the poultry industry. Beloved family pets and companions. Priceless breeding pairs. This disease is incurable. You must be sure your birds cannot even be suspected of coming in contact with an infected source. Remember the hoof and mouth disease epidemic in England? Think like that. It should scare you. And no, humans can't get this disease.

#23560 - 10/10/02 11:48 PM Re: Outbreak of Exotic Newcastle Disease  

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I live in the Southern California area where the outbreak has been reported and people here are extremely concerned. Evidently, the outbreak was realized in birds that are used in "cock fighting". The government is afraid to publicize extensively for fear that they'll drive those involved in the illegal activity even further underground.

I called my Avian Vet who said to keep my birds INSIDE... don't go outside, don't take them anywhere. Do not introduce any new foods that they aren't already used to. Be sure to wash all produce thoroughly (as always). Do NOT attend any bird fairs, bird marts or any kind of gathering where "bird people" are as this disease can be transmitted through clothing and contact. In other words, you can walk through an infected area and take the disease home on the bottom of your shoes, even if no birds are present!

VERY frightening - especially when you read the AFA website and see how the exotic parrot pets were taken from people's homes and gassed back in the 70's. What a nightmare!!!

There is also no shipping of birds out of state at this time, so breeders are heavily affected in the state.

Susie

#23561 - 10/15/02 03:45 PM Re: Outbreak of Exotic Newcastle Disease  
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I live in So. California too. I normally go to a bird farm to purchase supplies (seeds, pellets, toys) and will need some more soon. Is it safe to do so?

#23562 - 10/15/02 04:26 PM Re: Outbreak of Exotic Newcastle Disease  
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PaulaS.- i have read that you should try to avoid any place w/ birds. I wish I could remember exactly what it said but the disease is very strong and it can survive rather long w/o a host so it can easily transport home IF the disease is there.The things I've read said to purchase from a company that does not carry birds and if you have none in your area, to mail order.

#23563 - 10/16/02 08:44 PM Re: Outbreak of Exotic Newcastle Disease  

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PaulaS,

From what I've read it doesn't even matter if the facility you visit has birds or not - if they sell "feed" then it's risky. That's because people who own infected birds can carry the risk on their shoes and track it into the feed store. A lot of people are carrying a diluted bleach mix in a spray bottle in their car and spraying the bottoms of their shoes when they leave their car - and again before they re-enter their car - wherever they go to prevent picking up any chance of Newcastles.

I decided this was a good time to stock up on homemade goodies for my birds and make large amounts of bean mix, birdie bread, chopped veggies and all that. That way I'm not even risking going close to anyplace that might be a risk.

Even the grocery store is a risk at this point! People who own infected birds are feeding themselves too...

Susie

#23564 - 10/17/02 12:33 AM Re: Outbreak of Exotic Newcastle Disease  

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Folks Im just wondering...this is the scariest sounding thing! I would probly defect somewhere with my birds if anyone ever tried to take them! I am rather ignorant of this terrible disease, will it spread across the country? Is it just a warm climate disease? There is a speaker coming from california to a bird show here, I just love seeing new toys ect, now Im scared of going, Ido not know much about where all these vendors are from. Could they theoretically spread this disease to NH?

#23565 - 10/17/02 05:46 PM Re: Outbreak of Exotic Newcastle Disease  

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The best protection is education, in my opinion. Here's a site that's posting updates as quickly as they can find them. I'd strongly recommend that anyone with birds stay informed!

http://www.cocka2.com/newcastle/

Unfortunately, the media is not covering this issue very well - even though 5000 birds and 27 different locations have been depopulated already in the Southern California area (pets and backyard birds). We're now on a campaign to get the media to pay attention and educate the public.

Susie

#23566 - 10/23/02 05:07 PM Re: Outbreak of Exotic Newcastle Disease  
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Well Newcastles finally made it to the news. There was a banner about it on CNN headline news last night, the first mention I've seen of it. I know that where I live is a rural area with numberous chicken farms, so I am afraid to even take my guys with me to our business. Ususally I alternate takeing each of them at least one afternoon a week. They love the change, and I like to keep them well socialized, but for now they are "grounded".

The bird farms here where I usually buy seed and toys seem to be playing it down, saying it hasn't hit the domestic flocks, but I don't see them using any special precautions either. I sure would be just to be sure!

#23567 - 10/24/02 03:48 AM Re: Outbreak of Exotic Newcastle Disease  
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I live in Southern California near the Arizona border. My neighbor who has backyard birds of (pheasant, quail, turkey, dove, ect) is having an inspector from the State come next week to check his birds. He raises game birds, although that is something I don't know anything about. Apparently, every backyard bird needs to be checked if they are going to be moving around within the State. This is what he just told me. When the inspector leaves his house sometime next week I will post a note stating what the findings were. As for me though, my birds will have to be kept inside 24/7 for now. I guess we will have to order our food through the mail too, as I am not taking any chances.

#23568 - 11/13/02 10:18 PM Re: Outbreak of Exotic Newcastle Disease  
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#23569 - 11/24/02 03:05 AM Re: Outbreak of Exotic Newcastle Disease  
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Exotic Newcastle Disease (END) is a highly contagious viral disease of many species of birds. END can cause high mortality (up to 90%) in chickens. Psittacine as well as other caged birds are also susceptible to END. Birds illegally smuggled into the United States are not quarantined and tested by United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) and birds may carry END virus. Therefore, END is a threat to the cage bird industry. An END outbreak in cage birds in Florida in 1980 resulted in the death of approximately 8000 birds and the depopulation of 30,307 birds in 23 states that cost the USDA $1,166,253.00.



Symptoms: Are highly variable and non-specific in cage birds. One of the classical symptoms of END is tremors and involuntary shaking of head and body when the bird attempts movement. Other symptoms may include anorexia, depression, diarrhea, paralysis, twisted neck, respiratory difficulty, ocular discharge, loss of weight, etc. Similar symptoms may be seen with other avian diseases also. Therefore, confirmatory testing in a laboratory is necessary for a diagnosis of END.

Incubation period: May vary from 2 to 17 days depending on the species of the bird, management factors, concurrent infections, etc. Cockatiels, budgies, amazons, cockatoos are highly susceptible. Other species such as Lory's, macaws, canaries, finches, Mynah's, African grey's may not show symptoms but may act as carriers.

Lesions: Range from none to hemorrhages in the digestive and respiratory tracts, plaques in the pharynx and glottis. Other lesions may include hepatosplenomegaly and ascites.

Diagnosis: Can be made in live bird by virus isolation from feces, cloacal and tracheal swabs. Lung, intestine, brain, liver and spleen are suitable organs for virus isolation. Serology can be used for screening.

Treatment: There is no treatment for END. Vaccination is not advisable.

If unusual mortality is observed notify END task force hotline 1-800-491-1899. Submit dead birds to one of the CAHFS laboratories located in:

San Bernardino: Tele: 909-383-4287
Fresno: 559-498-7740
Turlock: 209-634-5837
Davis: 530-752-8700

The premises are quarantined until diagnosis is made.

END is a federal reportable disease and any person or veterinarian who suspects it should report the disease to the state veterinarian.

#23570 - 11/24/02 03:37 AM Re: Outbreak of Exotic Newcastle Disease  
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This post was edited 12/3. Link to the latest update: read this page to see what is happening in s. CA: http://www.cocka2.com/newcastle/report1.htm
The CDFA info site says the workers that go door to door to identify premises that have birds have not worked on infected premises (not on the killing teams). I wouldn't let them in. What if the last place they surveyed had the disease? frown
Near the bottom of this page is a quote from an official in which they admit there is no "policy" which decides which animals will be killed. There is not an official "kill radius" around positive cases, but this IS how most of the killing has been done. If a state veterinarian determines there is a "high likelihood" that your birds have been exposed, your birds will be killed. I say..."Do NOT go gentle into that good night..." Be prepared for the fight of your life.
They claim each decision is made on a case by case basis. The "statistics page" shows that many premises are "depopulated" without testing http://www.cocka2.com/newcastle/stats1.htm . Look at the second chart. If you have "outdoor" birds, you are taking a BIG risk. Probably too big to fight, imo. It has been suggested that you find alternative housing for your outdoor birds (chickens, etc) until this blows over. They are destroying indoor birds if you have outdoor birds that MAY have been exposed.
I would keep my birds indoors at all times. I would "seal" any outdoor flights to prove they have not been used. A band with a serial number (like truckers use) applied by a police officer or some other official might work. I would put a 1/32 solution of clorox for a footbath at my doors and freshen it regularly. It should be in place if any state officials come calling. I would consult with my vet to get help in proving my premises are being maintained "disease free." Perhaps he can give you some documentation that your birds are under his direct care. This may stop the killers long enough to stay in the fight. Good Luck to all of you.
PS (12/21/02) The CA Gov has a page telling how to make a proper footbath! http://www.cdfa.ca.gov/ahfss/ah/pdfs/Footbaths_owner_Dec02.pdf They recommend 3/4 cup clorox per gal. water, which is stronger than 1/32. A quote from the site re: footbaths..."They show that you take disease prevention seriously." They have a page on biosecurity http://www.cdfa.ca.gov/ahfss/ah/pdfs/Biosecu_long_Dec_%202002.pdf which points out that you must "blow your nose and clean your ears" as part of your biosecurity routine if you have been near other birds!

#23571 - 12/04/02 04:47 AM Re: Outbreak of Exotic Newcastle Disease  
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My post above has been updated

#23572 - 12/16/02 12:13 AM Re: Outbreak of Exotic Newcastle Disease  
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There is a now a phone number to call to appeal a quarantine of your premises. It is listed at www.cocka2.com/newcastle/index.cgi The number is (562) 795-1940. You must call this number immediately if you recieve quarantine notification. Do not delay. You may have less than 24 hours. Be very clear that you are appealing a Quarentine Notice. You can NOT appeal a kill order. Insist on testing before they kill your birds.

#23573 - 12/19/02 12:03 AM Re: Outbreak of Exotic Newcastle Disease  
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The link above has been updated. You can NOT appeal a kill order. You must appeal the quarantine order immediately to have any chance of saving your birds. Please reread the info at the link above and also read www.cocka2.com/newcastle/advice1.htm . The World Parrot Trust published, "If you live in southern California or plan on visiting there in the near future with your bird, we recommend that you keep a close eye on the following web sites http://www.cdfa.ca.gov/ahfss/ah/Newcastle_info.htm and [url=Http://animalscience.ucdavis.edu/avian/disease_control.htm]Http://animalscience.ucdavis.edu/avian/disease_control.htm[/url] or call 1-800-491-1899 for information..."

#23574 - 12/28/02 07:27 AM Re: Outbreak of Exotic Newcastle Disease  
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I live in Southern California in one of the quaranteen (spelling?) counties. I really appreciate your posts with updates and information. Although I only have 4 birds, I worry about their exposure. I use to take turns taking our G2 and Grey to our business, but since this outbreak, I have kept them at home.

Today I heard on the radio that END has now started showing up in commercial poultry. (Of course we live in a rural area with LOTS of commercial poultry sites mad I thought you would like to know!

#23575 - 12/28/02 05:52 PM Re: Outbreak of Exotic Newcastle Disease  
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Read this on CNN online this morning.....

Poultry destroyed, quarantined in Southern California
Friday, December 27, 2002 Posted: 8:29 PM EST (0129 GMT)


California is the nation's third-largest egg producer.


RIVERSIDE, California (CNN) -- Poultry farms in southern California have been quarantined and 100,000 chickens destroyed after officials detected a fast-spreading poultry disease.

While the malady, called Exotic Newcastle Disease, isn't harmful to humans, it could be devastating to the poultry industry because it's deadly to birds. To prevent it from spreading, the California Department of Food and Agriculture euthanized 100,000 chickens at a farm in western Riverside County.

A regional quarantine is in effect for Los Angeles County and western sections of Riverside and San Bernadino counties. Poultry will not be allowed out of the quarantined areas.

Exotic Newcastle Disease can be spread by people who carry it on clothes and shoes, said Leticia Rico, spokeswoman for the CDFA.

According to The Associated Press, the disease was first detected in backyard flocks in October. This week, officials confirmed it had been discovered at the poultry farm near Riverside.

"Finding it in a commercial flock is a first in California since 1974," U.S. Department of Agriculture spokesman Larry Hawkins told the AP. "It's not only serious because there is a direct threat to the poultry industry in California, but because it also brings about quarantines from our trading partners."

In the 1970s, an outbreak in California prompted the destruction of nearly 12 million chickens, with nearly $56 million spent on eradication efforts.

While most of California's poultry industry is in the Central Valley between Sacramento and Bakersfield, the California Poultry Federation says about 9 million egg-laying hens are in the quarantined area, or about 60 percent of the egg-laying chickens in the state. The state is the nation's No. 3 egg producer.

Because the disease cannot be transmitted to humans, eggs are being sanitized and allowed to pass through the quarantine zone, the AP reports.

A task force of state and federal agriculture officials and scientists has been monitoring the outbreak and advising commercial farms on security measures.

#23576 - 12/31/02 09:58 PM Re: Outbreak of Exotic Newcastle Disease  
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http://www.cocka2.com/newcastle/media/blast1.htm . They are killing birds that test negative. Skip down to the red print for details. Prepare to do what you must. This site has also summerized biosecurity measures. frown

I am also cross posting this info. because it may help you protect your birds:

the END
Date: Mon, 25 Nov 2002 16:17:06 -0600
From: Brenda Adams
Organization: National Parrot Rescue & Preservation Foundation

Hi Everybody,
I have just spoken to Dr. Benny Gallaway, AFA President. Due to the
conflicting stories that are going around concerning the current END(Exotic
Newcastle's Disease) outbreak in California, the END task force will now be
releasing official updates to Dr. Gallaway on a regular basis. I will
continue to forward these updates to all of you. I have permission to share
a preliminary report now, and expect to have a more detailed report by the
end of the day, or tomorrow. Some of this information is redundant, but this
is official, not rumor.

1. Psittacines have been euthanized - Species breakdown and numbers have not
been provided.

2. 182 properties have been depopulated, 76 are scheduled for depopulation.

3. 16,000 birds have been euthanized - included are poultry, ducks, geese,
game birds, some psittacines including some pet birds.

4. The outbreak has been confined so far to a 30 mile radius that includes
three counties.

5. Officials can go onto any property and euthanize birds "with good cause",
which is defined as direct contact with affected birds or if an adjoining
property is affected. A veterinarian makes the assessment and decision as to
whether the property will be quarantined and tested or depopulated without
testing. If "good cause" is not determined, the officials may choose to
quarantine the property and test the birds. Officials are going door to
door within the "fixed areas"(a radius surrounding affected properties) and
conducting interviews and inspecting flocks.

This information may be cross posted. Please do not reword, remove
information or make any type changes to this message.

Thank you,
Brenda Adams
NPRPF

from Michelle:
I think this means, if an adjoining property has END, they are going to try to kill your birds without testing (see "good cause," above). If your adjoining neighbor has chickens, start thinking creatively about how you can avoid this disaster.

#23577 - 01/06/03 10:11 PM Re: Outbreak of Exotic Newcastle Disease  
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My heart goes out to any of you who are close enough to have to worry about this everyday. I don't know what I'd do.

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