Yucaipa Now Part of Southern California’s Quarantine Area to Eradicate Virulent Newcastle Disease

By on March 5, 2019
North Bench flies – chicken ranches

In the effort to eradicate virulent Newcastle disease (VND), California State Veterinarian Dr. Annette Jones recently expanded Southern California’s quarantine area to further restrict bird movement. The expanded quarantine mandates the reporting of sick birds. And the mandate prohibits poultry owners from moving birds in all of Los Angeles County, and in large areas of San Bernardino and Riverside counties including Yucaipa.

The new quarantine area extends from as far east as Yucca Valley in San Bernardino County, with a northern boundary of State Route 58 at the Kern County line and from the northern and southern borders of western Riverside County to the Salton Sea—including the Coachella Valley.

VND is a nearly-always fatal respiratory infection in poultry. There is no cure. Birds may seem healthy but will almost always die within days of being infected. The virus can also be transmitted by people who have VND on their clothes or shoes, and by equipment or vehicles that can transport the disease from place to place.

Quarantine regulations requires bird owners to isolate poultry from other species, to cease exhibitions, allow diagnostic testing, to stop the shipping and receiving of birds and to enhance biosecurity.

“By modifying the quarantine area in Southern California, we are building upon an ongoing effort to eradicate virulent Newcastle disease,” said Dr. Jones. “The primary way that VND spreads is by people moving sick birds. Extending the prohibition of bird movement across a larger area is the next logical step in being able to stop the spread of the virus and to eradicate the disease.”

Staff from the California Department of Agriculture (CDFA) and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) have been working in joint incident command since May 2018 in an effort to eradicate VND in Southern California. The virus is highly contagious among birds. The virus is projected to soon result in the euthanasia of more than one million birds in Los Angeles, Riverside, San Bernardino, and Ventura counties. Thus far birds from six poultry industry producers in the Riverside and San Bernardino counties area have also been infected with VND – one in San Bernardino County and five in Riverside County. All birds in these facilities are scheduled to be – or have already been – euthanized. The only way to stop VND and eradicate the disease is to euthanize birds including all infected birds as well as birds within heavily-infected areas.

There are no human health concerns provided that any meat or eggs are cooked properly. People who come in direct contact with the virus may develop conjunctivitis-like symptoms or run a mild fever.

Additional information about bird/poultry movement restrictions, biosecurity and testing requirements, please call the Sick Bird Hotline 866-922-2473 or email SFSPermits@cdfa.ca.gov. The quarantine language and a map may be found at CDFA’s VND Web site, at: www.cdfa.ca.gov/ahfss/Animal_Health/Newcastle_Disease_Info.html.