159,000 Layers Lost In Latest US Newcastle Disease Case
The most recent case of virulent Newcastle disease to hit a commercial poultry flock involved 159,000 laying hens, according to a report from the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE).
The case – the second confirmed case of vND in the U.S. during a recent outbreak -- was confirmed by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Plant and Animal Health Inspection Service (APHIS) on January 8 and, the U.S. agency reported the confirmation to the OIE.
The affected flock was located in Riverside County, California, the same county where the first confirmed case of vND in the United States since 2003, was confirmed. In that case, announced by APHIS on December 15, 2018, about 110,000 six-week-old layer pullets were affected.
The OIE report stated that like the first affected commercial poultry flock, all 159,000 layers are being culled. The birds in that flock did not display any clinical signs of illness, nor was there any increases in mortality. However, the flock was evaluated as part of increased surveillance that was taking place amid an outbreak of vND that had mostly affected backyard exhibition chickens.
(By moving quickly, to humanely euthanize this flock, we are eradicating the disease before it spreads and preventing the unnecessary suffering of these birds that would otherwise die from the virus,” the California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) stated on its website.
To date, the disease has been found in four California counties – Riverside, Los Angeles, San Bernardino and Ventura – since the first case was confirmed in May 2018.
Virulent Newcastle disease found in feed store
OIE also reported that vND has been confirmed in chickens and quail at a retail feed store, also in Riverside County.
Five birds at the feed store had died, and 34 other susceptible birds at the store were culled. The store has since been cleaned and disinfected.
CDFA and APHIS are conducting a comprehensive epidemiological investigation of these disease events.