Exotic Newcastle quarantine lifted in Texas, New Mexico

Jun 12, 2003 (CIDRAP News) – As expected, federal and state authorities have lifted poultry and bird quarantines in five counties in western Texas and southern New Mexico after concluding that exotic Newcastle disease (END) has been stamped out in the area.

END was limited to one backyard poultry flock in Socorro, near El Paso, Tex., said Texas State Veterinarian Bob Hillman in a Jun 6 news release. Except for that site and a small surrounding buffer zone, the quarantines were lifted Jun 5 for El Paso and Hudspeth counties in Texas and Luna, Otero, and Dona Anna counties in New Mexico.

"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," Hillman said. He had predicted in a May 28 announcement that the quarantine would be ended soon.

The END quarantines were imposed Apr 10. State and federal agriculture officials tested more than 800 flocks in the area for END and distributed disease-prevention information to dozens of feed stores, producers, flea markets, pet stores, and other places where birds and related products are sold, Hillman said.

He said Texas must maintain a quarantine around the site of the outbreak for 6 months to reopen international markets to Texas poultry and poultry products. Birds may be removed from the remaining quarantine zone only with a permit from the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) or Texas Animal Health Commission.

The USDA said Jun 10 it would publish a notice of the quarantine lifting in the Federal Register on Jun 11. The agency said it would take comments on the action until Aug 11.

See also:

Texas Animal Health Commission with link to news release
http://www.tahc.state.tx.us/

USDA Jun 10 news release
http://www.aphis.usda.gov/lpa/news/2003/06/endtxnm_vs.html

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