vND California: outbreak spreads outside of quarantine area

September 12, 2019

Sept 12, 2019
Virulent Newcastle disease virus was detected in a 2 bird backyard non-commercial poultry flock In Riverside County. The birds were depopulated.

August 31, 2019
There was a new detection of virulent Newcastle disease (VND) on August 30 at a research facility in central San Diego County. Investigation revealed that infected birds moved there from Riverside County in violation of the established quarantine. This is the first detection of VND in San Diego County since this incident began in May 2018.

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 to the Sick Bird Hotline, 866-922-2473.

August 15, 2019
Ongoing surveillance and testing has resulted in the detection of a new case of vND at a retail feed store in western San Bernardino County. This is the first detection of VND since June 4. Staff discovered the infected birds during a routine biosecurity check. Infected and exposed birds have been euthanized and the store has been temporarily closed while an investigation is under way.

July 16, 2019. There have been no cases identified since June 4, 2019. All poultry farm inspections and service provider visits continue to be prohibited except for public health reasons. Heightened biosecurity will remain in place through October 1, 2019.

On May 21, 2019 the California Department of Food and Agriculture and the United States Department of Agriculture distributed an information letter about the Virulent Newcastle Disease eradication program to residents in the program area. See attached file.

On May 8, Dr. Jones released Field Biosecurity Guidelines for State/County/City Personnel Entering Shell Egg Packing Facilities, Poultry Harvest Facilities, and Poultry Farms. State, county, city, and private inspectors, auditors and service providers were requested to suspend all on-farm poultry area visits, and to replace on-site inspections with remote, record-based audits. Commercial poultry producers have been asked to minimize personnel entering live production areas.

On March 22, Dr. Annette Jones, the California State Veterinarian, issued a Poultry Disease Biosecurity Advisory recommending that all poultry be housed indoors and separated from wild birds, particularly migrating waterfowl. This heightened biosecurity advisory will remain in place through July 1, 2019, when an updated risk evaluation will be conducted.

On Feb 27, Dr. Jones enlarged the Southern California quarantine area to further restrict bird movement. The quarantine mandates the reporting of sick birds and prohibits poultry owners from moving birds in all of Los Angeles County, and in large areas of San Bernardino and Riverside counties.The quarantine also requires bird owners to allow diagnostic testing, to isolate poultry from other species, to cease exhibitions, to stop the shipping and receiving of birds, and to enhance biosecurity. Fairs are being cancelled and many veterinary clinics are excluding sick birds.

As of April 11, $72 million of government funds have been spent or allocated. Backyard flocks depopulated have been compensated in the amount of $1.9 million and commercial flocks $3 million. 300 state and federal workers have now been deployed.

A complete list of confirmed cases is available at

For details on Newcastle disease please refer to this useful fact sheet produced by the Poultry Health Research Network at the University of Guelph

See attached California Dept of Agriculture information including:
1. Field Biosecurity Guidelines for State/County/City Personnel Entering Shell Egg Packing, Poultry Harvest Facilities, and Poultry Farms
2. Areas for mandatory euthanasia of backyard flocks in high risk areas,
3. Movement prohibition Quarantine zones for poultry and non poultry birds

View File