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Virulent Newcastle disease, formerly known as exotic Newcastle disease, is a contagious and fatal viral disease affecting the respiratory, nervous and digestive systems of birds and poultry. The disease is so virulent that many birds and poultry die without showing any clinical signs. Virulent Newcastle disease is not a food safety concern.  No human cases of Newcastle disease have ever occurred from eating poultry products.  Properly cooked poultry products are safe to eat.  In very rare instances, people working directly with sick birds can become infected with mild symptoms, such as conjunctivitis.  These are easily prevent with personal protective equipment.

Virus 2019

CDFA’s VND Web site


WEDNESDAY, September 18, 2019 — VIRULENT NEWCASTLE DISEASE RESPONSE UPDATE:

vND Stop Rumors


MONDAY, August 12, 2019 — VIRULENT NEWCASTLE DISEASE RESPONSE UPDATE:

Please call to schedule testing of your birds: 866-922-2473

Every effort will be made to schedule a convenient time to test your flock. Situation Update:

Increased testing of poultry for virulent Newcastle disease (VND) is occurring in your area in order to confirm that infection is no longer present.

Testing must be completed within a limited time frame. This is to ensure that the region is disease-free and for the state veterinarian to determine if the regional quarantine may be released. If your poultry have not been tested for VND since June 1, 2019, please call to schedule an appointment.

Working together we can complete testing in your area as quickly as possible and minimize disruption to your community.

Please call: 866-922-2473

Every effort will be made to schedule a convenient time to test your flock.


WEDNESDAY, JULY 31, 2019 3:48 PMVirulent Newcastle Disease Update: There have been no positive virulent Newcastle disease (VND) results for the past 58 days! The last positive result was on May 29, 2019. This is good news and indicates that there is light at the end of the tunnel. If you have lost chickens or other birds due to VND, please keep in mind that you can have birds again in the future after a birdfree (fallow) period of a MINIMUM of 120 days and release of the regional area quarantine. Restocking is prohibited until written notification is received from the State Veterinarian granting permission to restock. Please contact the California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA; 866 922-2473) for details on how to proceed to repopulate your premises. Please continue to be vigilant and remember to follow CDFA’s biosecurity guidelines for backyard and pet birds. Extensive surveillance efforts will be performed over the next few months to make sure there are no additional pockets of infection. As part of that effort, everybody is encouraged to submit dead or sick birds to any of the four CAHFS locations.


SACRAMENTO, February 27, 2019 – California State Veterinarian Dr. Annette Jones today modifiedSouthern California’s quarantine area to further restrict bird movement as work continues to eradicatevirulent Newcastle disease (VND). The quarantine mandates the reporting of sick birds and prohibits poultry owners from moving birds in all of Los Angeles County, and in large areas of San Bernardino and Riverside counties.

The modified quarantine extends from the northern and southern borders of western Riverside County to the Salton Sea—including the Coachella Valley—and as far east as Yucca Valley in San Bernardino County, with a northern boundary of State Route 58 at the Kern County line. The quarantine language and a map may be found at CDFA’s VND Web site.

The quarantine requires bird owners to allow diagnostic testing, to isolate poultry from other species, to cease exhibitions, to stop the shipping and receiving of birds, and to enhance biosecurity.

“By modifying the quarantine area in Southern California, we are building upon an ongoing effort to eradicate virulent Newcastle disease,” said Dr. Jones. “The primary way that VND spreads is by people moving sick birds. Extending the prohibition of bird movement across a larger area is the next logical step inbeing able to stop the spread of the virus and to eradicate the disease.”

VND is a nearly-always fatal respiratory infection in poultry. Birds may seem healthy but will die within days of being infected. There is no cure. The virus is also transmitted by people who have VND on their clothes or shoes, and by equipment or vehicles that can transport the disease from place to place.


There are no human health concerns provided that any meat or eggs are cooked properly. People who come in direct contact with the virus may develop conjunctivitis-like symptoms or run a mild fever.

The only way to stop the virus and eradicate the disease is to euthanize birds. This includes all infected

birds as well as birds within heavily-infected areas.

Since May 2018, staff from the California Department of Agriculture (CDFA) and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) have been working in joint incident command to eradicate VND in Southern California. The highly contagious virus has resulted, or will soon result, in the euthanasia of more than one million birds in Los Angeles, Riverside, San Bernardino, and Ventura counties.

Birds from five poultry industry producers in Riverside County and one poultry industry producer in San Bernardino County have also been infected with VND and all birds in those facilities have been or will be euthanized.

For more information about movement restrictions, biosecurity, and testing requirements, please call theSick Bird Hotline (866) 922-2473 or email 

Contact a Shelter

Western Riverside: (951) 358-7387 (PETS)
San Jacinto: (951) 358-7387
Coachella Valley: (760) 343-3644
Blythe: (760) 921-7857

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