Virulent Newcastle Disease Update from State Veterinarian Dr. Annette Jones

This week brings some good news and, unfortunately, some disappointing news, as well. First, the good news – poultry farms continue to make significant biosecurity investments and our weekly testing has demonstrated that they remain free from Virulent Newcastle Disease (VND).  More disappointing, however, is a detection of VND through our mandatory testing program. After almost 6 weeks with no cases, we found the virus in two additional backyard flocks in the Bloomington-area. Both flocks were showing signs of disease and laboratory results suggest that the disease may have been in at least one of the flocks for some time.

The owners did not call to report disease and it is possible that some birds were moved off of at least one of the properties before our arrival.  It’s important to remember that this virus is highly contagious and lethal, so it always eventually shows up – the delay in contacting us simply leads to a bigger problem.

Moving exposed birds results in one thing: more flocks becoming infected.  While the VAST majority of poultry owners in Southern California have taken the time to understand this disease and have made great sacrifices for the good of all Southern California poultry, a few continue to perpetuate this outbreak.

Please observe the following:

In the days and weeks ahead we will evaluate these recent detections and determine what they may mean for the entire VND quarantine area.