vND hits California backyard turkeys, feed store chickens

Virulent Newcastle disease (vND) has been confirmed at two more locations in San Bernardino County, California.

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(Roy Graber)
(Roy Graber)

Virulent Newcastle disease (vND) has been confirmed at two more locations in San Bernardino County, California.

According to a report released by the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) on November 25, vND was detected in a backyard flock of non-commercial turkeys and in chickens at a retail feed store.

There were 30 susceptible turkeys in the backyard flock. The flock was depopulated and disposed of, according to the OIE. There were 144 chickens at the retail feed store, all of which were also killed and disposed of.

California has been dealing with an outbreak of vND since the first case was confirmed in a backyard exhibition chicken in San Bernardino County in May 2018. Cases of vND began to slow down in recent months, and there had not been any confirmed vND cases in California since September 4, until the virus was confirmed in mid-November at two neighboring residences, also in San Bernardino County.

According to a notice from the California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA), the feed store case is linked to the cases at those two neighboring residences. There was no additional information regarding the backyard turkey flock on the CFIA website.

In addition to San Bernardino County, vND has been confirmed in the California counties of Riverside, Los Angeles, Ventura, Alameda and San Diego. Utah County, Utah, and Coconino County, Arizona, have each had one confirmed vND case.

Enhanced surveillance and testing for vND is ongoing.

“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,” CDFA said in a statement.

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