Newcastle disease in France, UK

An outbreak of Newcastle disease has been confirmed in the French city of Pompaire on a farm with more than 5,000 meat pigeons.

All pigeons on the farm were reportedly destroyed at the end of September. The epidemiological investigation carried out in nearby farms did not find any clinical signs of the disease.

The last known outbreak of Newcastle disease in France was in November 2005.

Pigeons are very susceptible to the virus. The virus found in France was the avian paramyxovirus type 1, which is a pigeon variant.

How the birds became infected is not known, but contact with wild animals is suspected.

Meanwhile, almost 18,000 birds near Edinburgh in the UK will be culled to help prevent the spread of a Newcastle disease outbreak confirmed there last week in a flock of grey partridges.

The fowl will be put in containers and gassed before being incinerated and taken off the farm in waterproof vehicles, in line with EU rules.

A protection zone has been established and officials are attempting to pinpoint the source of the outbreak.

The last known outbreak of Newcastle disease in the UK was in July 2005, when a large flock of pheasants was culled near Surrey.

Newcastle disease poses no risk to humans, but can be deadly to birds. The bug's symptoms in birds include sneezing, gasping for air, nasal discharge, coughing, and greenish, watery diarrhoea.

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Editor WorldPoultry

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