Policy on Pet and Exotic Birds Housed in Cages within Enclosed Structures
Exotic Newcastle Disease (END) is a highly contagious,
often fatal viral disease of birds. END may cause
respiratory, digestive, and nervous signs. Some pet
bird species show few clinical signs but shed the virus
and can spread the disease to other susceptible birds.
There is no treatment for the disease and vaccination is
of limited value.
An outbreak of END is currently occurring in Southern
California. The disease eradication program includes
surveillance for infected birds, and euthanasia of all
birds on premises either confirmed positive for END
(infected premises) or that have a direct
epidemiological link to an infected premises (dangerous
The best way to stop END is to euthanize all birds on
infected premises and all those that are dangerous
contacts. Pet and exotic birds “enclosed” (or housed)
in cages within enclosed structures or housed in
outdoor caging under specified conditions may be
exempted from euthanasia according to the following
policy. This policy will be reviewed if there is a change
in the role of “enclosed” birds in this outbreak.
Birds considered for exemption from euthanasia
A. Endangered species (protected under the U.S.
Endangered Species Act) assessed in conjunction
with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, which is
authorized to quarantine, seize, or destroy
B. Rare and/or threatened species as listed in the
CITES Appendices, I & II.
C. Genetically significant species or strains of exotic or
domestic avian species as determined by the END
D. Caged birds with an effective biosecurity program
that protects them from END.
• An appropriate biosecurity program includes:
avoiding contact with affected birds; isolating
birds from loose birds in the neighborhood;
preventing people from spreading the disease
on contaminated clothing, shoes, and vehicles;
and cleaning and disinfecting all equipment and
supplies in contact with affected birds.
Birds included in categories A-D will be evaluated and
either euthanized, quarantined on the premises in a
manner prescribed by the END task force, or taken to a
USDA quarantine station at the discretion of the END
task force Incident Commander.
• Owners who do not have outside birds will be
considered at lower risk than those who have
• If birds are housed outside other risk factors will
be considered including:
Are birds caged, with covering over the
feeding and watering areas?
Are birds isolated from potential END
carriers (including rodents and free-ranging
Are there free-ranging poultry in the
Is there a fence that separates the property
from free-ranging poultry and other vectors?
Any birds exempted from euthanasia will be tested,
examined, and isolated at the owner’s expense and in
the manner prescribed by the END task force. Isolation
facilities must provide secure bio-containment against
If the bird is quarantined the owner/operator must:
i. Sign a compliance agreement (attached).
ii. Provide a biosecurity plan that meets the standards
required by the END task force.
iii. Allow cloacal swab samples to be taken by a state
or federal animal health official for virus isolation. A
minimum of two consecutive negative samples at
least 15 days apart are required.
iv. Agree to additional guidelines for determining when
the quarantine can be removed as discussed at the
time the compliance agreement is signed.
The quarantine will remain in place for a minimum of 30
days. The quarantine will not be lifted until surveillance
has been completed in the neighborhood around the
quarantined premises (in an approximately 1-kilometer
zone) and until there are no infected premises within a
3-kilometer zone around the quarantined premises.
Birds will be euthanized if test results show that an
exempted bird is infected with END.
PET OR EXOTIC BIRD IN-HOME QUARANTINE COMPLIANCE AGREEMENT
[Pursuant to Food and Agricultural Code Section 9562]
1. California Department of Food and Agriculture (hereinafter “the Department”)
Contact: Dr. Richard Breitmeyer, State Veterinarian
2. Owner of Bird(s):
1. On October 1, 2002, an outbreak of Exotic Newcastle Disease (hereinafter “END”) was confirmed in
Southern California. END is a highly contagious and often fatal viral disease that affects most
species of birds. END is especially virulent, with many birds dying without showing any clinical signs
of the disease.
2. Food and Agricultural Code section 9562 provides the Department with the authority to order the
movement, segregation, isolation, or destruction of animals or food products during quarantine.
3. Food and Agricultural Code section 9574 provides that any person who negligently or intentionally
violates quarantine shall be civilly liable in an amount not to exceed $25,000. Food and Agricultural
Code section 9701 provides that a first quarantine violation may be cited as an infraction, with
second and subsequent violations constituting misdemeanor offenses.
4. Owner acknowledges that he/she has been personally served with an Animal Health and Food
Safety Services quarantine due to the possible exposure of birds on the premises to END.
5. Owner further acknowledges that he/she will execute and comply with the terms and conditions of
this compliance agreement with the Department.
Quarantine Number _____________________________
TERMS AND CONDITIONS
As Owner, I certify that I understand and will comply with the following conditions for home quarantine of my
1. Birds and associated equipment will not be moved in or out of the quarantined home located at:
2. The following bird(s) will be home quarantined according to this compliance agreement:
3. Owner will do the following to minimize the potential risk of spreading disease (Biosecurity):
a) Keep bird(s) confined and in an enclosure (e.g. within a cage which is inside a residence
or secure aviary).
4. Owner will permit the bird(s) to be tested for END at a minimum of two times at least 15 days apart.
The final test will occur after the area is considered free of END. Additional tests may occur.
b) Prevent free-ranging poultry from entering the property.
c) Isolate the bird(s) from visitors.
d) Do not share birds, equipment or feed with other bird owners.
e) Avoid unnecessary contact with other people’s birds. Infected birds may not look sick!
f) Prior to coming in contact with birds:
•Hands: Wash your hands in soap and water for 10 to 20 seconds.
g) Keep visitors to your property to a minimum. If you have visitors, they should wash their
hands and clean their shoes and do not let them near your birds.
•Feet: Remove or thoroughly clean your shoes, paying particular attention to the
soles. Spray soles with a disinfectant or use a disinfectant foot dip at the
entrance to your property.
•Other: Shower and change into clean clothing.
5. The owner will call the Department at (800) 491-1899 immediately if bird(s) are showing signs of illness or have died.
6. If any bird on the quarantined premises is diagnosed with END, all birds on the premises will be
humanely euthanized. If a regulatory veterinarian determines that the quarantined bird(s) have been
exposed to END all birds on the premises will be humanely euthanized. Exposure may be due to
non-compliance with the biosecurity practices listed above.
7. Owner acknowledges that he/she has been provided with a copy of Food and Agricultural Code
section 9562, and accepts the State Veterinarian's authority to act thereunder without consultation
with Owner. Such authority includes, but is not limited to, decisions related to the need to quarantine
poultry, poultry products and any associated equipment and property for isolation, depopulation and
destruction. Owner further acknowledges that the State Veterinarian may require amendments to
this compliance agreement at any time.
Date: ______________ ____________________________________
California Department of Food and Agriculture
Exotic Newcastle Disease Task Force
Animal Health and Food Safety Services