California orders euthanasia of birds in vND-hit areas

In response to the 2018 outbreak of virulent Newcastle disease (vND) in California, State Veterinarian Annette Jones has ordered that all birds in certain communities in three California counties be euthanized.

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Gabriela Pernecka, Freeimages.com
Gabriela Pernecka, Freeimages.com

In response to the 2018 outbreak of virulent Newcastle disease (vND) in California, State Veterinarian Annette Jones has ordered that all birds in certain communities in three California counties be euthanized.

The communities involved in the order are Compton (Los Angeles County), Muscoy (San Bernardino County) and Mira Loma/Jurupa Valley (Riverside County).

Those three counties have been the site of all but one of 178 cases of vND that have been confirmed in the state since May 18. According to a November 23 report from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS), San Bernardino County has had 104 cases, Los Angeles County has had 38 cases, Riverside County has had 35 cases and Ventura County has had 1.

Nearly every case has occurred in backyard exhibition chickens, although it was also confirmed in a backyard mixed bird flock in San Bernardino County, a live poultry market in Los Angeles County and a flock of hobby turkeys in Los Angeles County. According to APHIS, vND has not been found in any commercial poultry flocks in the United States since 2003.

 â€śUnfortunately, even if birds and flocks have previously tested negative but now happen to fall within a designated mandatory euthanasia area, the birds must be euthanized,” Jones stated in a message on the California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) website.

“While this action is difficult for all involved, it must be done to eradicate vND. Otherwise, the disease will continue to spread and kill additional flocks.”

CFDA notes that there is no effective cure for vND.

All bird owners in the affected areas will be contacted by officials from the USDA or the CFDA, Jones stated.

In 2016, Jones was honored with the 2016 USDA APHIS Administrator’s Award at the United States Animal Health Association (USAHA) and American Association of Laboratory Diagnosticians (AAVLD) annual meeting for her efforts to control Newcastle disease and avian influenza.

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