Exotic Newcastle Disease

Exotic Newcastle Disease



NEWS RELEASE
Texas Animal Health Commission
Box l2966 * Austin, Texas 78711 * (800) 550-8242 * FAX (512) 719-0719
Bob Hillman, DVM * Executive Director
For info, contact Carla Everett, information officer, at 1-800-550-8242,
ext. 710, or ceverett@tahc.state.tx.us

New Mexico Livestock Board
300 San Mateo Blvd NE, Suite 1000
Albuquerque, NM 87108-1500 * (505) 841-6161 * FAX (505) 841-6160
Steven R. England, DVM * State Veterinarian

For immediate release:
Birds and Poultry Free to "Fly the Coop" --
Disease Quarantines Released in Texas and New Mexico

With the exception of a very small area of Socorro, in El Paso County, the state and federal quarantines and movement restrictions on birds and poultry movement have been lifted on El Paso and Hudspeth Counties in Texas, and on Luna, Otero, and Dona Anna Counties in New Mexico. Since April 10, the five counties have been quarantined, while regulatory veterinarians and animal health inspectors worked to eradicate an outbreak of Exotic Newcastle Disease (END) in El Paso County.
"We are very happy to announce that END, a deadly foreign viral disease that affects only birds and poultry, has been wiped out in El Paso County. This disease does not affect human health or the safety of food, but it can devastate bird and poultry operations," said Dr. Bob Hillman, Texas state veterinarian and head of the Texas Animal Health Commission (TAHC), the state's livestock and poultry health regulatory agency.

"Thanks to the cooperation of bird owners and the dedicated work of staff from the TAHC, New Mexico Livestock Board, other state agencies, and USDA, this disease did not spread beyond one backyard flock of birds," he said. "To be certain, however, the teams tested more than 800 flocks within the five-county area and distributed disease prevention information to dozens of feed stores, producers, flea markets, pet stores and other retail and wholesale outlets where birds and bird-related products are sold."

"With the exception of a very small area in Socorro in El Paso County, all movement restrictions in the five-county area have been lifted, and bird and poultry businesses and movement may return to normal. As soon as the USDA lifted its federal quarantines, the New Mexico Livestock Board and the TAHC lifted state-level restrictions. Feed stores may sell chickens, pet stores can market canaries, and other birds and poultry can be moved into or out of the counties," said Dr. Hillman.
He explained that Texas must maintain a small, specified quarantined area for six months to regain international trading status for poultry and poultry products. This area encompasses the premises where END infection was detected, along with a small buffer zone. It is bounded by Tokay Avenue on the north, Fredonia Street on the east, Vineyard Road on the south, and Muscat Street on the west. Birds may be moved from this specific area only under a permit issued by USDA or TAHC personnel.

"We have been particularly fortunate that END did not become widespread in Texas or New Mexico," commented Dr. Hillman. "In southern California, an END outbreak has been battled since October 2002, and it has spread among backyard poultry and to 22 commercial poultry operations. More than 3.5 million birds have been euthanized to stop the spread of the disease. Finally, it appears that eradication efforts are going well. However, because END is a foreign animal disease, trade restrictions can be harsh, and it will be some time before California fully recovers international markets for poultry and poultry products."

"The key to eradicating disease is detecting it as quickly as possible, before it has an opportunity to spread. Although END has been eradicated in El Paso County, the virus could potentially be reintroduced. The disease is highly contagious, and if sick birds are transported into the area, another outbreak could begin. Also, the virus can be carried from one site to another on trucks or supplies, so it's important to disinfect equipment brought onto your property," he said.

"Check your flocks frequently for signs of disease, such as gasping, coughing, diarrhea or paralysis," said Dr. Hillman. "If birds are sick, or if there is unusual death loss, call your veterinarian or animal health officials, so that samples may be collected for testing at the National Veterinary Services Laboratory in Ames, Iowa. There is no charge for the testing."
Dr. Hillman referred bird owners in Texas to the TAHC's 24-hour hotline at 1-800-550-8242 or to the USDA's Veterinary Services office in Texas at 512-916-5552. In New Mexico, bird owners may call the New Mexico Livestock Board at 505-841-6161 or the USDA's Veterinary Services office in New Mexico at 505-761-3160.

"When you watch out for your own birds, you're protecting the entire poultry and pet bird industry," said Dr. Hillman. "Think of this as a 'neighborhood watch' program for poultry disease."



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Exotic Newcastle Disease Confirmed in Texas

NEWS RELEASE

Texas Animal Health Commission
Box l2966 * Austin, Texas 78711 * (800) 550-8242 * FAX (512) 719-0719
Bob Hillman, DVM * Executive Director

For info, contact Carla Everett, information officer, at 1-800-550-8242, ext. 710, or ceverett@tahc.state.tx.us

For immediate release April 10, 2003
Exotic Newcastle Disease Confirmed in Texas;
Five Counties Quarantined in Texas and New Mexico

Birds and poultry movement from five counties in Texas and New Mexico is being prohibited after laboratory tests completed late Wednesday, April 9, confirmed Exotic Newcastle Disease (END) had infected a backyard flock of chickens last week near El Paso. As a preemptive measure, state and federal animal health regulatory officials earlier this week destroyed the flock, but are concerned that END, a highly contagious foreign-origin virus, may have spread to other poultry and birds in the area.

El Paso County has been quarantined by the Texas Animal Health Commission (TAHC), and the New Mexico Livestock Board has quarantined Luna, Dona Ana and Otero Counties in New Mexico. By mid-afternoon Thursday, April 10, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is expected to place a federal quarantine on these counties, in addition to Hudspeth County in Texas.

"As of Wednesday evening, infection has been confirmed only in El Paso County," explained Dr. Bob Hillman, Texas state veterinarian and executive director for the TAHC. "However, the five counties quarantined in Texas and New Mexico are considered to be a trade area in which there is significant movement of birds and poultry. State and federal authority is being imposed so that disease surveillance, testing and diagnosis can be conducted. It is customary for the USDA to quarantine additional counties, in order to create a 'buffer zone' around an infected county. The END outbreak must be stopped before it spreads to other backyard, hobbyist or exhibition flocks, or to the commercial poultry industry."

Dr. Hillman explained that the USDA is providing fair market payment for birds that must be destroyed during this disease outbreak. He stressed that END does not affect human health, nor does it affect poultry products or eggs.

"We are depending on bird and poultry owners to assist us in eradicating this disease outbreak," said Dr. Steven England, state veterinarian for the New Mexico Livestock Board. "Please report illness or unexpected death losses to your private veterinary practitioner or to the TAHC or New Mexico Livestock Board." The TAHC has a 24-hour hotline that can be reached at 1-800-550-8242, and the New Mexico Livestock Board can be called at (505) 841-6161.

END usually has a two to 15-day incubation period, and infected birds or poultry may exhibit signs of respiratory distress, including gasping or coughing. The virus also affects the central nervous system, causing infected birds to become paralyzed, develop muscle tremors or twist their necks. In some flocks, disease may strike quickly, and the only sign is death loss.

"We are asking for full cooperation from bird and poultry owners. Do not move birds from the quarantine area. Do not move birds within the area, either," he said. "If at all possible, keep birds in isolation on your premise, and ensure that no birds are introduced onto your property during the quarantine period."

Dr. Hillman said that the quarantines will last until state and federal animal health officials are certain all disease has been eradicated and that it is safe to resume normal movement and activities.

"Take precautions," said Dr. Hillman. "Clean your boots prior to entering bird pens. You could pick up contaminated manure on your footwear at the feed store, at the coffee shop, or at your neighbor's place. Use bleach and water or a commercial disinfectant to spray or dip your boots. Wear clean clothes when working with the birds. Clothing, too, can pick up viruses that can be transmitted to your birds."

"We can stop the spread of this disease, but only if we all work together quickly and cooperatively. Report illness in your birds. Abide by the quarantines. Practice good biosecurity," said Dr. England. "By addressing this problem together, we can stop this disease before it has a chance to become widespread in Texas or New Mexico."

Department of Agriculture

Office of the Secretary


Declaration of Extraordinary Emergency Because of Exotic Newcastle Disease in Nevada


Exotic Newcastle disease (END) has been confirmed in the State of Nevada. The disease has been confirmed in backyard poultry, which are raised on private premises for hobby, exhibition, and personal consumption. Previously, END had been confirmed in the State of California, and on January 6, 2003, the Secretary of Agriculture signed a declaration of extraordinary emergency with respect to the END situation in California (see 68 FR 1432, Docket No. 03-001-1, published January 10, 2003).

END is a contagious and fatal viral disease affecting domestic, wild, and caged poultry and birds. It is one of the most infectious diseases of poultry in the world, and is so virulent that many birds die without showing any clinical signs. A death rate of almost 100 percent can occur in unvaccinated poultry flocks. END can infect and cause death even in vaccinated poultry. This disease in poultry and birds is characterized by respiratory signs accompanied by nervous manifestations, gastrointestinal lesions, and swelling of the head.

END is spread primarily through direct contact between healthy birds or poultry and the bodily discharges of infected birds or poultry. Within an infected flock, END is transmitted by direct contact, contaminated feeding and watering equipment, and aerosols produced by coughing, gasping, and other respiratory disturbances. Dissemination between flocks over long distances is often due to movement of contaminated equipment and service personnel, such as vaccination crews. Movement of carrier birds and those in an incubating stage accounts for most of the outbreaks in the pet bird industry.

The existence of END in Nevada represents a threat to the U.S. poultry and bird industries. It constitutes a real danger to the national economy and a potential serious burden on interstate and foreign commerce. The United States Department of Agriculture (the Department) has reviewed the measures being taken by Nevada to control and eradicate END and has consulted with the appropriate State government and Indian tribal officials in Nevada. Based on such review and consultation, the Department has determined that the measures being taken by the State are inadequate to control or eradicate END.

Therefore, the Department has determined that an extraordinary emergency exists because of END in Nevada.

This declaration of extraordinary emergency authorizes the Secretary to (1) hold, seize, treat, apply other remedial actions to, destroy (including preventative slaughter), or otherwise dispose of, any animal, article, facility, or means of conveyance if the Secretary determines the action is necessary to prevent the dissemination of END and (2) prohibit or restrict the movement or use within the State of Nevada, or any portion of the State of Nevada, of any animal or article, means of conveyance, or facility if the Secretary determines that the prohibition or restriction is necessary to prevent the dissemination of END. The appropriate State government and Indian tribal officials in Nevada have been informed of these facts.

EFFECTIVE DATE: This declaration of extraordinary emergency shall become effective January 17, 2003.

Ann M. Veneman,
Secretary of Agriculture.
[FR Doc. 03-1610 Filed 1-23-03; 8:45 am]