Alisa Harrison (202) 720-4623
Suzan Holl (301) 734-6464
USDA LIFTS QUARANTINE RESTRICTIONS FOR
NEWCASTLE DISEASE IN CALIFORNIA
WASHINGTON, Sept. 16, 2003 – Agriculture
Secretary Ann M. Veneman today announced that there are no longer any
areas in the United States that are quarantined because of exotic
Newcastle disease (END), a serious disease of poultry and other birds.
“This administration is committed to
enhancing our pest and disease control and prevention efforts,” Veneman
said. “I congratulate all the state and federal personnel who have worked
tirelessly to eradicate exotic Newcastle disease.”
While this is a major milestone in the
fight to end what was a very serious avian disease outbreak, U.S.
Department of Agriculture (USDA) officials warn that continued precautions
should be taken against the reintroduction of END.
Today’s action removes portions of Kern,
Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino and Ventura counties,
Calif., from the list of END quarantined areas. This means that
restrictions are removed on the movement of birds, poultry and certain
other articles from those areas. This action comes 11 months after END was
verified in California.
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 considered a public health threat.
USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection
Service (APHIS) encourages bird owners to take biosecurity precautions and
to report sick birds immediately to local animal health authorities.
This interim rule is scheduled for
publication in the Sept. 19 Federal Register and was effective Sept. 16.
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 http://www.aphis.usda.gov/ppd/rad/webrepor.html.
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Analysis and Development, PPD, APHIS, Station 3C71, 4700 River Road, Unit
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except holidays. Persons wishing to review comments are requested to call
ahead on (202) 690-2817 to facilitate entry into the comment reading
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