Thought this might interest those of you studying confinement and
pasture-based poultry systems.
NEWCASTLE DISEASE, GAME BIRDS - USA (CALIFORNIA (03)
A ProMED-mail post
Newcastle disease, game birds - USA (California) 980615204550
Newcastle disease, game birds - USA (California) (02) 980626231003]
Date: Tue, 07 Jul 1998 14:04:45 -0400
From: Dorothy Preslar <email@example.com>
Source: The Fresno Bee, 30 June
California poultry processors are losing more than $125,000 a week
because of the detection of Newcastle disease in a Fresno backyard
flock of 48 game hens.
The find triggered an embargo by the Hawaii Department of Agriculture
on the importation of game birds specifically from Fresno, but it also
has prompted a moratorium on imports of poultry meat from the state to
six countries. The greatest impact is on poultry processors in Merced
and Stanislaus counties. It's a six-month embargo by Russia that is
having the most impact, along with an indefinite quarantine by Japan.
Less significant are quarantines by Estonia, Morocco, New Zealand and
Romania, said Mark Looker of the Modesto-based California Poultry
A spokesman for Zacky Farms, with operations in Fresno, said it does
limited business exporting to the six countries and anticipates little
impact from the trade restrictions.
The infected or exposed birds at the Fresno residence were destroyed
and the premises cleaned and disinfected in early June. The birds were
17 miles from the nearest commercial poultry location, and an
investigation by the California Department of Food and Agriculture
over a 56-block area in south Fresno found no other infected birds.
Newcastle disease is not transferable to humans.
Poultry producers have cultivated a profitable market in Russia, which
prefers the dark meat that has limited appeal in the United States.
Japan long has been a valuable market for poultry processors. Exports
to those and the four lesser markets stopped upon discovery of the
disease. The trade loss to Russia -- which could ban the poultry for
up to six months -- alone is estimated at $125,000 a week, according
to the poultry federation.
California has a $ 450 million chicken meat industry with Merced and
Stanislaus counties raising 90% of the state's product. Poultry is
processed and sold by companies such as Livingston-based Foster Farms.
Processors fear other countries will take advantage of the Newcastle
discovery to halt U.S. exports, the USA Poultry & Egg Export Council
said. Processors believe that action is unnecessary because U.S.
poultry exports are frozen and Newcastle won't be passed from frozen
poultry to live birds. Processors also point out that Newcastle
disease was not discovered in a commercial flock.
"We have a strong prevention program, which prevented the problem from
spreading," said Kevin Herglotz of the California Department of Food
and Agriculture. "We moved in quickly, determined the problem,
isolated it and then eliminated it. "Like any animal disease, this
posed a threat to agricultural production and exports. It's been
almost three weeks now and it hasn't spread to other birds."
That pleases growers.
"You can't take chances with a disease like Newcastle," said Mary
Harris, who raises chickens near Merced. "If it were to spread, you'd
have a disaster."
Growers have a right to worry. A major Newcastle outbreak in 1971 led
to a quarantine of all poultry south of the Tehachapis, the killing of
12 million birds and an eradication bill of $56 million.
The current effort is expected to cost $56,000, assuming no more
diseased birds are found.
[That it has not apparently spread further is the good news. The
outstanding question is still where did it come from? NDV
finger-printing is reasonably exact and if there are adequate archival
reference material to hand plus the use of genebank sequences, it
should be possible to get some indication of likely sources to be
checked out. Obviously, there is still more to come on this outbreak.
Michele Gale-Sinex, communications manager
Center for Integrated Ag Systems
UW-Madison College of Ag and Life Sciences
Voice: (608) 262-8018 FAX: (608) 265-3020
Why an F-16? Why can't the sound of freedom be
a baby chick breaking out of its shell? --Mister 3D
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