Aug 5, 2003 (CIDRAP News) The US Department of Agriculture (USDA) yesterday announced that the quarantine for exotic Newcastle disease (END) has been lifted for Arizona, Nevada, and Texas. In addition, the quarantine zone in Southern California has been reduced by 84%, from 46,000 to 7,300 square miles, according to a press release from the California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA). Birds in the areas eliminated have been thoroughly tested, with no cases of END found.
The reduced quarantine zone in California includes portions of Los Angeles, San Bernardino, Riverside, Orange, Venture, and Kern counties, according to the release. Poultry testing continues in those areas, and once enough birds have tested negative, the quarantine will be reconsidered there as well. Bird owners in the remaining quarantined areas wishing to move birds must obtain a permit.
"This is a tremendous development in this program. . . . We are able to make this change much sooner than we originally thought we would," CDFA Secretary William Lyons says in the press release. Ann Veneman, secretary of USDA, says in a press release from that agency, "I commend the efforts of the federal and state officials who have worked so hard to manage this disease. This is an example of what the state and federal partnership can accomplish in animal disease eradication."
The current outbreak was first confirmed in backyard California poultry flocks in October 2002 and in commercial operations in December of that year. The outbreak then spread to Arizona, Nevada, New Mexico, and Texas. Well over 3 million birds have been destroyed in the effort to contain the outbreak. The last outbreak in the United States was in 1971 in California, when about 12 million birds were destroyed. The state has a $3 billion poultry industry.
USDA Aug 4 press release
CDFA END page (includes links to Aug 4 CDFA press release and map of remaining quarantine area