virulent Newcastle Disease California

June 1, 2020

May 22, 2020
CDFA/USDA are on track to release the regional quarantine in the first half of June.

April 24, 2020 - No new cases have been reported since Feb. 25, 2020.

April 1, 2020 - Update from State Veterinarian Dr. Annette Jones
During the COVID-19 crisis one item subject to shortages has been eggs. As a result, chicken keepers in the VND quarantine zone have asked if they can move eggs off their properties in order to share them with others.
The current quarantine order prohibits the movement of eggs without permission from CDFA. However, there are some simple precautions that can be taken to allow this movement. People interested in moving eggs must contact to receive a permit. Any unpermitted movement is a violation of the quarantine.
After receiving permission, it is vital to ensure the flock producing the eggs is healthy and is not a silent carrier of the virus. If the flock has been consistently protected by the use of biosecurity and no new chickens have been added without a CDFA permit since 2019, the risk of infection is low. Further, if the person taking the eggs does not have chickens and is not in contact with chickens, the risk of spread is close to zero.
Additionally, the eggs must be cleaned and sanitized before leaving the premises, and egg suppliers should not accept used egg crates back unless they are non-porous and cleaned and sanitized ahead of time.

Feb 28, 2020
Quarantine area remains in place. The heightened biosecurity effort including quarantine will remain in place until June 1, 2020, when an updated risk evaluation will be provided. The State Veterinarian has advised cancelling all poultry gatherings in the State until the quarantine is lifted. No cases have been identified in commercial flocks since 3 commercial table egg layers in early 2019 .

Jan 31, 2020
State Veterinarian Update for Fairs and Shows with Poultry

1. If located within the regional quarantine area of Southern California (western San Bernardino, western Riverside and Los Angeles counties), poultry movement without a permit continues to be prohibited due to the risk of VND.
2. If located outside of the regional quarantine area but in a neighboring county, we advise canceling poultry gatherings due to the risk of illegal movement of sick birds, or the movement of birds that are infected but have not started to show clinical signs, or the movement of contaminated equipment or other carriers.
3. If located in a county with significant poultry farm populations we advise cancelling poultry gatherings due to the risk of undetected virus spreading to large flocks and expanding from there to impact food production and trade.
4. If located in other areas of California, we advise cancelling in an abundance of caution until the regional quarantine in Southern California is lifted, but a case-by-case risk assessment may be warranted

January 29, 2020
State Veterinarian Dr. Annette Jones issued a statement explaining that local feed and pet stores in the regional quarantine area do not have chicks for sale this spring. DNA tests from recent 20 cases suggests they are all related, most likely from a single source with further spread due to bird movement, lax biosecurity, and commingling at feed and pet stores.
Feed and pet stores provide a critical infrastructure for bird owners. Not only are they a source of feed, equipment and birds, they are also a gathering place for like-minded people where information and experiences can be shared. Unfortunately, this foot traffic also means that some customers may be carrying the virus on their shoes or clothing. When a store with this type of foot traffic also houses poultry, it gives the virus a chance to find a new host and become even more infectious. Keeping poultry, including baby chicks, out of these important community businesses will help the region become VND free.

Dec. 31, 2019

State Veterinarian releases "Poultry Disease Update and Biosecurity Advisory" and updated "Field Biosecurity Guidelines for State/County/City Personnel Entering Shell Egg Packing Facilities, Poultry Harvest Facilities, and Poultry Farms." (see attached file)

Dec. 23, 2019
The California State Veterinarian reports that there are now 20 new suspect or confirmed cases under investigation over the past month, all linked to the recent Bloomington area outbreak.
Phylogenetic analysis and epidemiologic studies proves that this highly contagious virus has been spread when people move exposed birds or equipment, or when people carry the virus to their own lock on their hands and feet outside of the CDFA Regional Quarantine Area.
This outbreak has resulted in the death of over 1.2 million birds, and significant financial and emotional strain on poultry owners and disease control agencies.

Dec. 20, 2019
Six additional backyard exhibition chicken flocks have been identified as positive for virulent Newcastle disease: five in San Bernardino County, California, and one in Riverside County, California.

Dec. 13, 2019
Two backyard exhibition chicken flocks in San Bernadino have been diagnosed with vND. Information gathered so far indicates that all of the six most recent cases are linked, but authorities are still working to find additional connections and potentially more cases.
Poultry on confirmed infected and exposed properties in the Bloomington-area have been euthanized. Testing in the neighborhoods surrounding the infected flocks has been intensified. Epidemiologists continue to explore multiple disease response strategies with an eye towards preventing a major outbreak from reoccurring.

November 30
There have been 4 new cases of vND in past month, all in San Bernadino County. These are first identified cases since early September. Two infected neighbouring backyard exhibition chicken flocks were linked to infected chicks at a retail/feed store located just outside the control zone. In addition an infected backyard non commercial turkey flock was identified. These are first cases since early September.

October 22, 2019
Virulent Newcastle Disease Update: Transition to Freedom of Disease Phase
The CDFA/USDA VND response team has started the “Freedom of Disease” phase in which we continue surveillance and testing of birds to detect and quickly eradicate any small pockets of infection (if present). There have been no new positive detections of VND since early September, but the Regional Quarantine is still in place at this time.
A sufficient number of negative VND tests from the community will help meet international standards to demonstrate freedom from VND and allow the regional quarantine to be lifted. This phase will take place over the next few months, bearing in mind that if any positives are found, it would potentially create a setback to this process. We are sincerely grateful for the continued cooperation and support from the community

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 Outbreak spreads outside quarantine area
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.

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.
Six commercial/ industrial table egg layer operations account for about 1.2 million of the euthanized birds, with the another 120,000 backyard birds
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