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On Tuesday, September 16, the California Department of Food and Agriculture and the U.S. Department of Agriculture announced an end to the Exotic Newcastle Disease (END) quarantine. Extensive testing of the regulated area has been completed with no additional detections of the disease.

So, let's all celebrate by attending the next SBBS meeting on Thursday, October 2. Dr. Rosskopf is a great speaker, and we will have our terrific Raffle Table as well as lots of refreshments!

Resource Links

Cocka2.com - Continually updated with the latest information. Reporting on the END outbreak in California since October 8, 2002.


CDFA - California Department of Food and Agriculture, Newcastle Disease Information


APHIS / USDA - Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service / United States Department of Agriculture END site


Parrot Society of Los Angeles - Exotic Newcastle Disease Information


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Recent Newspaper Articles

DAILY BULLETIN - January 24, 2003
"Residents criticize disease task force
Owners say state officials are killing healthy birds"

DAILY BREEZE - January 24, 2003
"Bird owners worried about Newcastle disease
VIRUS: Many in the South Bay also say they fear officials will overreact and kill their pets needlessly."

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END Guidelines

What to Do If the CDFA Comes to the Door

If you are notified by the CDFA that you have been placed under quarantine, then it is critical that you stay calm and take the following steps:

  1. Gather all the documents that you are given by the CDFA staff.
  2. Do not sign or agree to anything unless you fully understand and have read everything that you are signing. Get a copy of anything you sign.
  3. Obtain ALL names, business cards, and identification of any workers or individuals that come onto your premises from the task force.
  4. If you are placed under quarantine, and believe that you have not been exposed to END, FILE AN APPEAL WITH THE CDFA. It is CRITICAL that an appeal be filed within 24 hours. The direct line provided to us by the END Taskforce is 1-562-795-1940. This shortened period is noted at the bottom of the quarantine statement. Owners should be very clear that they are appealing the quarantine when they call so that the call is handled quickly and sent to the right place. {Get the names of EVERYONE you talk to}
  5. Call your AFA Representative:

    Southern California: Tony Candelaria , email: ynotbirds@msn.com

    Northern California: Leslie Gillis 1-559-674-1990, email: secretgardenaviaries@earthlink.net

    The AFA has established direct lines of communication with the taskforce and will try to establish lines of communication between you and the taskforce decision makers. We will do our best to help you on a case by case basis.
  6. If your facility is deemed a "dangerous contact" area and is scheduled for depopulation and you have exhausted all other options for a negotiated resolution with the CDFA, you might want to contact a lawyer as legal action could be the only way to stop the order. The AFA has been in contact with lawyers familiar with this situation who can provide you with the information.
  7. The CDFA will not pay for any bird that dies of END, only those that are euthanised by their staff. You might lose all rights to compensation, if you wait too long and in fact the birds have contracted END. Also, if an individual does not abide by the quarantine, they will not be compensated for their birds if they are infected with END.
  8. Do not attempt to move birds out to another area. This is a very serious, extremely transmittable avian disease. If you attempt to move or hide birds that could have been exposed to the END virus, you endanger other birds, aviculture, and the US Poultry industry.

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CDFA Process for Site Risk Assessment

The following information on the process that the CDFA is using for END eradication was provided to the AFA by the State of California Veterinarian Dr. Breitmeyer. This is an official statement so please read it carefully as it is the current policy of the CDFA and affects every bird owner that is within the current quarantine.

"Exotic Newcastle Disease (END) is a highly contagious viral disease that is currently present in multiple neighborhoods in Southern California. Successful eradication requires extensive surveillance, diagnosis and rapid elimination of infected and exposed birds.

If END is suspected in a new area, not previously affected with the disease, veterinarians investigate the case and submit diseased birds or other samples to the laboratory for diagnosis."

  1. The laboratory diagnosis may be based on:

    • necropsy findings (the equivalent of an autopsy in people) and/or
    • isolation of the virus.
  2. If END is confirmed, survey teams are sent into the area to identify all properties, which have birds within a one-kilometer area and identify any additional properties with evidence of disease exposure.
  3. A veterinary epidemiologist is assigned to evaluate the risk of disease to other birds in the area. Since this disease spreads easily by direct contact and movement of birds and people (including chickens and other poultry species running loose in neighborhoods), multiple properties are often found to be positive within a neighborhood.

    • After the initial diagnosis in a new area, a property in that neighborhood may be classified as positive if a veterinarian determines that birds are exhibiting compatible clinical signs.
    • In addition, a property may be classified as "dangerous contact" if the epidemiological investigation determines that birds have been exposed to END by the movement of birds, people, equipment, or other carriers. In these situations, samples are often NOT submitted for two primary reasons.

      1. First, the exposure to the virus may be very early (incubation stage of disease) and the birds are not yet showing clinical signs.
      2. Second, birds may be infected, but not showing clinical signs and not shedding the virus. In these cases, laboratory samples may be negative, yet the birds break later with disease, putting additional birds in the neighborhood at risk.

While it is very devastating for a bird owner to be told that their property has been classified by the veterinarian as either positive or a "dangerous contact," these actions are absolutely essential to successfully eradicate this dangerous disease, and return to an END-free environment, sparing bird owners further sorrow.

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