State Veterinarian Calls for Cancellations of Poultry Exhibitions due to Virulent Newcastle Disease

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According to the California Department of Food & Agriculture an outbreak of Virulent Newcastle Disease (VND) was discovered in May 2018.  Since then VND has had a devastating impact on backyard bird populations in four Southern California counties including Los Angeles, Riverside, San Bernardino and Ventura.  The virus has also been found in three commercial facilities in Riverside County.

Virulent Newcastle Disease is a highly contagious respiratory virus in poultry that is nearly always fatal.  The only way to stop the spread of the virus is to euthanize infected birds. The virus is found in respiratory discharges and feces and may cause high rates of sickness and death in susceptible birds.

In rare cases, humans that have been exposed to infected birds may experience mild fever-like symptoms and eye inflammation.  These signs generally resolve without treatment; however, medical care should be sought if symptoms persist. Infection is easily prevented by using standard personal protective equipment.

As a precaution, the California State Veterinarian is recommending that all poultry exhibitions that include birds from high-risk counties (Los Angeles, Riverside, San Bernardino and Ventura) be cancelled.  An Exhibition is an assembly of birds brought a location for the purpose of public display.

It is strongly advised that productions refrain from using birds and/or poultry for filming until the outbreak has been contained. 

For questions about Virulent Newcastle Disease, please contact the 1-866-922-2473 or visit their website.

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