California’s Department of Food and Agriculture has recommended restricting poultry gatherings in 4 counties as the state continues to battle Newcastle Disease outbreaks in backyard flocks.
It comes as the first case of the virus was confirmed in a flock of birds in Utah, which authorities believe is linked.
Since May 2018 nearly 300 cases of Newcastle Disease have been confirmed in Southern California, predominantly in backyard exhibition birds.
3 commercial poultry flocks have been affected, and more than 500,000 birds culled in attempts to halt the virus spread.
In a letter to poultry organisations, state veterinarian Annette Jones said: “To support our disease containment and eradication efforts, the California State Veterinarian is recommending that all poultry exhibitions that include birds from high-risk counties (Los Angeles, Riverside, San Bernardino and Ventura) be cancelled.”
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The department recommends high standards of biosecurity as the best way to control spread, in particular highlighting the need to: