Romania reports Newcastle disease outbreak on farm

After an absence of more than 2 years, Newcastle disease has returned to Romania.

(rusak | Bigstock)
(rusak | Bigstock)

After an absence of more than two years, Newcastle disease has returned to Romania.

Affected by the outbreak of Newcastle disease was a flock of almost 6,900 birds, according to the official report to the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE). The national veterinary agency records the latest outbreak starting on November 29, and leading to the death of 62 birds. The type of bird was not identified in the report.

Clinical symptoms were observed at the farm, and the presence of the virus was confirmed by the country’s Institute for Diagnosis and Animal Health. Culling of the rest of the flock was ongoing at the time of reporting.

The source of the infection is unknown.

The usual measures have been applied have been applied to prevent the further spread of the disease, according to the national animal health authority. These include: movement control inside the country; surveillance within containment and/or protection zone; screening; official destruction of animal products; official disposal of carcasses, by-products and waste; stamping-out; zoning; disinfection; and vaccination. Affected animals are not to be treated.

The location of the outbreak is described as “Nicolae Balcescu.” This is in Calarasi, a county in the south of Romania that borders Bulgaria.

It was in April of 2017 that Newcastle disease was last detected in Romania, according to the OIE report.

Newcastle disease in other countries in 2019 

In recent weeks, the agriculture ministry in Russia has reported to the OIE that a new type of the Newcastle disease virus has been detected in a poultry flock in its Central federal district. Genotype VII was detected in the backyard flock in Kursk. Genotype VI had been found in previous outbreaks dating back to 2013.

Earlier this year, the Newcastle disease virus — genotype unspecified — was detected in a village poultry flock in Russia’s Far Eastern federal district.

Based on information supplied to the OIE, few countries have never detected cases of Newcastle disease. It is known to be present in Asia and Africa, as well as Colombia. OIE records the only “current disease event” during the first half of 2019 to be in U.S. poultry.

In May of 2018, virulent Newcastle disease (vND) was first diagnosed in the U.S. Since that time, vND has mainly occurred in flocks of “backyard exhibition chickens” in California. As of November 29, the disease has been confirmed at 454 premises in the state, according to the USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS). Utah and Arizona have also each recorded one vND outbreak.

Growth potential in Romania’s poultry sector

In a report on the poultry sector in the EU published earlier this year, recent above-average growth in Romania’s broiler sector was highlighted. Along with Hungary and Poland, further expansion in production was forecast to 2030.

Romanian poultry meat production in 2018 was 392,000 metric tons (mt) carcass weight, according to AVEC, the European poultry producers’ association. This figure was unchanged from the previous year, and well down from 2016 output of 419,000mt.

Latest data from the statistics arm of the United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organization, FAOstat are for 2017, when egg output in Romania was estimated to have been just under 315,000 metric tons. The previous year, official data put production at more than 303,000 metric tons.

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