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Release No. 0271.03
Suzan Holl (301) 734-6464
Jerry Redding (202) 720-6959


     WASHINGTON, Aug. 4, 2003--Agriculture Secretary Ann M. Veneman today announced that the U.S. Department of Agriculture has eliminated the last remaining areas quarantined for exotic Newcastle disease in Arizona, Nevada and Texas and reduced the quarantined area in California. This action removes restrictions on the movement of birds, poultry and certain other articles from those areas.

     “I commend the efforts of the federal and state officials who have worked so hard to manage this disease,” said Veneman. “This is an example of what the state and federal partnership can accomplish in animal disease eradication.”

     Exotic Newcastle disease was first confirmed in backyard poultry in southern California in October 2002 and in commercial poultry in December 2002. It was later identified in Nevada and Arizona in January and February 2003, respectively. In April, the disease was also diagnosed in Texas.

     With this action, there are no longer any areas in Arizona, Nevada and Texas that are quarantined because of END. All areas removed from the quarantine in California have gone under extensive surveillance for END and have been determined to be free of END. Of the areas being released in California, only portions of San Diego County ever had END-positive premises detected.

     END is one of the most infectious poultry diseases in the world. It is a contagious and fatal viral disease that affects the respiratory, nervous and digestive systems of all species of birds. The virus is spread primarily through direct contact between healthy birds and the bodily discharges of infected birds. The disease is transmitted through infected birds' droppings and secretions from the nose, mouth and eyes. END is not a human health risk.

     This interim rule is published in the Aug. 4 Federal Register and was effective July 30. APHIS documents published in the Federal Register and related information, including the names of organizations and individuals who have commented on APHIS dockets, are available on the Internet at

     Consideration will be given to comments received on or before Oct. 3. Send an original and three copies of postal or commercial delivery comments to Docket No. 02-117-9, Regulatory Analysis and Development, PPD, APHIS, Station 3C71, 4700 River Road, Unit 118, Riverdale, Md. 20737-1238. If you use e-mail, address your comments to Your comments must be contained in the body of the message; do not send attached files. Please include your name and address in the message and use "Docket No. 02-117-9" on the subject line.

     Comments may be reviewed at USDA, Room 1141, South Building, 14th Street and Independence Avenue, S.W., Washington, D.C., between 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, except holidays. Persons wishing to review comments are requested to call ahead on (202) 690-2817 to facilitate entry into the comment reading room.


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