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January 10, 2003
Emergency Management Warning 17:

Exotic Newcastle Disease Confirmed in California

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has instituted an additional
quarantine zone to serve as a buffer around the END-affected area in
Southern California. The department has also declared an extraordinary
emergency to provide additional resources and authorities to the eradication campaign for Exotic Newcastle Disease (END) in Southern
California. Officials with the California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) and the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service
(APHIS) continue to work closely on these efforts.

The disease was confirmed on October 1, 2002, and has now spread beyond backyard flocks to affect three commercial operations. Clinical signs in infected birds include respiratory, nervous, and gastrointestinal signs.

Mortality if up to 90% of exposed birds. Investigations are on-going and
all figures are pending final validation. Veterinary Services (VS) is
working to rapidly expand staff on the Task Force. Over the next three
months, VS expects to deploy 100 people per week to the Task Force for
three-week rotations, and is canceling meetings and training to meet the
personnel demands.

Situation Update (From California's 5:00 p.m., January 8, 2003, report):

Number of premises positive (clinical and contacts): 1,160 (up 6 from 1/8 report)

Number of premises depopulated: 690

Premises waiting to be depopulated: 470

Birds depopulated to date: 149,595 (approximate)

Counties with positive flocks: Los Angeles, Riverside, San Bernardino, and San Diego

Operational Update (as of 12:00 p.m. EST, January 9, 2003):

California Governor Gray Davis declared a State of emergency in the
fight against the END outbreak in California. The emergency declaration
will enable State agencies to pool resources and work cooperatively with
CDFA in addressing the response to the incident.

Effective January 7, 2003, APHIS imposed a federal quarantine that
regulates the interstate movement of all species of birds and poultry
products from Imperial, Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, Santa Barbara,
San Bernardino, San Diego, and Ventura Counties, CA. USDA has declared an extraordinary emergency. The extraordinary emergency allows USDA to apply federal authority within the State of California.

Three commercial flocks have been confirmed with END in Riverside, San Bernardino, and San Diego Counties, CA. The three operations housed approximately 1.2 million birds. Depopulation of these birds has
already begun.

VS has worked with the U.S. Postal Service to affirm that poultry will
not be able to move out of the quarantined areas through the mail
State and animal health officials are conducting door-to-door surveys to
identify fowl and other birds in the affected areas and are following up
on epidemiological associations.

To date, depopulation, cleaning and disinfecting, and carcass disposal
are being conducted by CDFA and APHIS.

Affected and exposed poultry are being euthanized and double-bagged.
Task Force members are disinfecting the bags and transporting the
carcasses to restricted landfills for burial.

Local commercial table egg layer birds and spent-hen movement have been halted within the quarantined areas.

Emergency Management Issue is for information with no impact on APHIS
Emergency Management Notice is an ongoing incident with potential impact on APHIS
Emergency Management Warning is an ongoing incident with almost certain impact on APHIS


Photo of chickens behind a wire fence.

For More Information

California END Hotline 800-491-1899

California Emergency Operations Center, call

For Media inquiries, call

To contact APHIS Veterinary Services' Emergency Program Staff, call 301-734-8073, 800-940-6524 or email

California Department of Food and Agriculture