August 2018 California Newcastle Disease Update

Since May 2018, USDA has confirmed 106 cases of virulent Newcastle Disease (vND) in backyard birds in southern California.  Almost all are in small flock (“backyard”) show chickens, but a few are in small flocks of turkeys, and “mixed bird” flocks.   To keep this disease from spreading, and to keep it out of the commercial poultry industry, the USDA implements quarantine and eradication of infected flocks.  Obviously, this is very traumatic for bird owners, so it is in everyone’s best interest to keep this (and other) disease out of our area by following best practices.  According to the USDA, these include:

  • Washing hands and scrubbing boots before and after entering an area with birds;
  • Cleaning and disinfecting tires and equipment before moving them off the property; and
  • Isolating any birds returning from shows for 30 days before placing them with the rest of the flock.

All bird owners should report sick birds or unusual bird deaths to State/Federal officials, either through their state veterinarian or through USDA’s toll-free number at 1-866-536-7593.  For more info on biosecurity, please see: