Frequently Asked Questions
Q. What are the legal rights and procedures to follow if
premises are placed under quarantine?
Q. What is the appeals process?
A. The appeals process
consists of a three-way phone conference with you, a CDFA epidemiologist and
the head of the task force. In other words, the same people that decided to
quarantine your birds to begin with. If you are within one kilometer of an END
infected premise, the quarantine will not be lifted. If you are wishing to
appeal due to a low risk situation (which is not the same as an appeal of the
quarantine), please see http://cocka2.com/newcastle/riska1.htm
Q. What is the pet bird policy?
- PDF Format
http://www.cocka2.com/newcastle/cdfa/pexc0213.htm- HTML Format
Q. I don't understand
what the CITES birds have to do with END. Or even what the CITES birds
are. Can someone explain, please?
A. There are two
classifications that affect birds in the CITES list. Class II is birds
(and other animals too actually) that have restrictions on exportation to
protect the base native populations (most birds fall into this
classification). CITES I are birds that
are near extinction and are afforded more protection to attempt to keep the
species viable. See http://www.cites.org for more information or to check the classification of your bird.
Q. What is the Risk Assessment?
Q. What is a forced entry warrant?
Q. How can I find out if the area I live in has already
been "visited" by the task force?
A. Check out the maps here and see what is happening in
relationship to where you live:
Additionally, there are disease maps of infected areas
published by the CDFA and USDA from time to time. Check http://www.cocka2.com/newcastle/cdfa/
for the most recent available.
Q. I need to know more about biosecurity.
A. There are more tips on this FAQ. For step-by-step information see:
Q. What can I use for disinfectant?
Q. What is the typical cost of recommended disinfectants?
A. See http://cocka2.com/biosecurity/disinfect.htm
Nolvasan - 1 gal, 126 oz, makes about 42 gallons in proper dilution – about $35
Virkon S - 10 lb pail, makes about 126 gallons - about $55
Roccal-D Plus - 1 gal, (126 oz), makes about 200 gallons - about $70 **
Q. Where can I purchase Nolvasan?
A. See http://cocka2.com/biosecurity/disinfect.htm
Q. How can I practice biosecurity when away from home?
A. Walgreens had small spray bottles that are small enough to
be placed in a leather waist pouch or perhaps a purse. Plastic spray bottles
(normal size) can be found at Smart & Final and many other stores. Fill
your bottles with a Nolvasan solution and carry it with you. Some spray bottles
easily fit in the side pockets of a van or car.
Q. How often should I change my footbath?
A. Disinfectants will breakdown in the presence of organic
material (like dirt). For most of us, changing the footbath daily is
sufficient. But, if you have lots of activity and use, you may need to
change it more often.The bleach solution breaks down faster than disinfectants.
Be sure your footbath is free of leaves and other debris.
Q. What can I place on the bottom of my footbath?
A. There are different things that may be used as suggested by
participants of END-birds:
4 washcloths. My
foot tray is large enough for one shoe at a time only. The washcloths came
in a large bag and were inexpensive.
A soaked towel in the bottom of it. That way you
sanitize the bottom of your shoe without damaging the leather
We bought a grey plastic shallow pan at Smart and Final that
is used for collecting dishes in a restaurant. (a bus-tray) It has ridges on the
bottom and we cover it with a plastic tray out of one of those cheap President
cages. It just fits. We are using the Virkron S but I don't put a lot
in....That way it just covers the bottom of my shoes. I keep one at the back
door and one at the entrance of the aviary. I mix the Vikron S in a discarded
We use cheap UGLY synthetic grass doormats we bought at Home Depot (about $5
each) cut in half and placed in cat litter box and also a big plastic bottom
tray of a wire weaning cage. The fake grass mats have holes all over the bottom
that allow the solution to come up through the top of the mat. We fill with
disinfectant to almost the top of the mat.
Smart & Final has bus-trays that are heavy duty and
cheap, for holding the mat and disinfectant. The bus-trays work well because
they don't wobble if picked up with the contents.
Q. How can I use a footbath when I have dogs or cats who
may get into it?
A. More suggestions from the members:
There are a lot of loose stray and wild animals in my area.
I am keeping my footbath and disinfectant sprays in a deck box so the critters
don't get into them. I remove them from the deck box and use them before
entering the premises. I also keep my yard boots (disinfected as soon
as I remove them from my feet) in a tray in that deck box so that they
don't even come in the house. Also prevents the strays from marking my
boots or carrying them off.
A shallow pan with a lid can be used, such as a rectangular
Tupperware-type of pan with lid. Aluminum 9 in. x 13 in. cake pans with plastic lids also work for this purpose.
If you are using Nolvansan in your footbath, made according
to directions, it will not be harmful to any critter unless they ingest a very
Q. Has anyone considered whether pet cats coming and
going as they please through a kitty door would compromise the best biosecurity
system? Or a dog that gets walked on a regular basis?
A. If there are indeed no susceptible or quarantined species of
birds in the area, the risk would be minimal. However, there are always
our beloved pigeons, and they are a quarantined species. Dogs and cats
should be kept in a covered area and their movement outside of that area
severely limited. Dogs can walk though a Nolvasan footbath with no ill
effects while other disinfectants can be harmful.
Keep your cat(s) indoors at all times. Don't risk it. Be sure you have a
footbath set up and have the dog use it also =or= have your sprayer solution of
Nolvasan handy and spray the dog's feet before s/he enters your home. Wiping the
feet well with a Nolvasan soaked washcloth will help remove any debris. When
used in the proper dilution, Nolvasan will not harm the dog. I would not recommend
allowing your cat or dog drinking from the footbath on a regular basis but a
small quantity will not hurt.
Do not allow your pets to wander.
Q. Is it safe to spray a dog's feet with Nolvasan
Solution (properly mixed)? I know he will lick his feet.
A. Spray him. Remember that Nolvasan is sold across the
counter in Feed stores and is commonly used as a cow wash and teat
rinse. I use a spray on my dogs and cats and have for some time. That
means the dogs get sprayed at least twice per day. I have started using a
small wash cloth on the bottoms of their paws because I suspect that's more
efficient than a spray.
Q. Can winds carry the virus?
A. Per research done in regard to the 1970’s END outbreak in
CA, the answer is no:
For more information in regard to the question of airborne see notes under:
Q. Can wild birds carry the virus?
A. Wild birds are not thought to be a vector:
Q. Protecting your outdoor birds and biosecurity
A. For those who have outdoor birds of any kind, be sure that
your aviaries have roofs of some sort so that especially their food and water
sources are covered. Be sure you have a footbath at the entrance. I would also
suggest a handheld spray bottle with disinfectant right near the entrance for
your hands, hair, etc. Be sure you are routinely using both and they are not
If there is any way you can move your aviary birds inside or
to a garage and use full spectrum lighting, do so.
In regard to your own chickens, ducks, etc., be sure they
are in enclosed pens where they cannot wander around your property - ever. Be
sure that any coops, pens, etc. that you have are not close to your neighbor's
property. Get them as far away from your neighbor's as you possibly can.
Be sure you have a footbath at any entrance to your home. I
would also suggest a handheld spray bottle with disinfectant right near any and
all entrances that would be used for your hands, hair, etc.
Be sure that none of your neighbor's loose fowl are able to
enter your property in any manner.
Presumably if you are in an area where there is no loose
fowl running about, you will be in a much better position of defense, however,
you must have biosecurity in place.
Keep any and all visitors to an absolute minimum but they
must use footbaths and spray their hands with disinfectant also if they come to
None of this is in place of any other measures mention, as
in having a No Trespassing sign, using disinfectant before you enter your
vehicle every time, spraying your feed bags with disinfectant at the store and
before you load them, etc.
I would hope this would be acceptable to the Task Force.
Q. My pellets and seed come to me in a bag encased in a
box. Do you think opening the box outside and throwing it away and then
bringing the bags inside is ok? I usually rebag everything in ziplock bags and
toss them in the freezer anyway.
A. I would strongly suggest that you spray the outside of the
box first on all sides, let it sit and then open it. I probably go over the
edge but would also spray the bags inside before I took them in the house too.
I am sure that we really overdo it here but I do not want to bet any lives on
Q. How long can the END virus survive?
A. From: http://www.aphis.usda.gov/lpa/pubs/fsheet_faq_notice/fs_ahend.html
The END virus can survive for several weeks in a warm and humid environment on
birds' feathers, manure, and other materials. It can survive indefinitely in
frozen material. However, the virus is destroyed rapidly by dehydration and by
the ultraviolet rays in sunlight.
Q. Just how cautious should those of us outside of the zone be? Should
those of us who are currently unaffected be avoiding anything and everything
A. There are a large number (tens of thousands?) of people who
keep parrots in the quarantine area. They are going about their lives and their
parrots are not contracting END in droves. In fact, there appear to be NO
confirmed cases of END in psittacines so far. (Late correction : Five psittacines have
tested positive for END, four of which were housed directly with infected chickens. We do
not know details on the fifth.) Given that, the risk of your bird
contracting END from a package from someone who doesn't keep birds is
Q. How cautious should we be inside the Quarantine zone, such as home deliveries and feed stores?
A. From our members:
The delivery agent is a concern. The only regular delivery
here is propane, and I asked the driver if any of his clients kept poultry. He
didn't recall any, but that's hardly conclusive.
Feed store deliveries can be DEADLY. They should be avoided
at all costs!
"Today, at the feed store, I was wearing gloves, I declined to take the change
from my cash purchase."
This may sound silly to some, but I already take
precautions. I spray my mail lightly with Novalsan solution. I use
a bleach tray for footwear. No visitors. And while I'm in
California, I'm a long way from the hot zone.
The odds really do not favor the virus being virulent enough
to affect you and yours in some situations (like mail) but we must each decide
what we need to do to protect our homes and our birds.
Q. I know sunshine kills END, and I think I heard to
leave items in the sun for an hour as a "treatment.” I had to get some
seed today I still spray it down and the sacks are now sunning and drying
themselves in my driveway. But I was wondering about the length of time to
leave my shoes, clothes, etc. in the sun from regular store trips.
A. This is what I generally do. After every stop and before
getting into the vehicle I spray my shoes thoroughly. Carry a toilet brush with
you just in case your shoes have any debris. Brush them off first before you
spray them and then thoroughly spray the brush before loading it into your
vehicle. Our shoes are being sprayed with Roccal-D Plus. There is an easy
trick to doing this. You need to place your spray bottles before you get out so
all you have to do is open the door to reach them. Grab the bottle and spray
your hands first, for this I use Nolvasan since it's easier on my skin. Then I
sit in the seat with my feet out the door and one by one brush each shoe and
then spray it well with Roccal-D Plus and then put that foot inside. Spray the
brush when finished. Once home, I go directly to the bathroom, strip my clothes
and they go immediately into the dryer on as high heat as possible for those
clothes for 30 minutes then into the washer (the heat will kill END). I don't
strip outside the house because I can get into the bathroom directly without
being near any animals.
Be sure that you are allowing sufficient time for the
disinfectant to kill anything on your shoes, etc. so if your home is only 5
minutes from the store, I would suggest you leave your shoes outside
irregardless of using a footbath. While a footbath should be just fine if you
are coming in from your own yard (where there is no loose fowl that belongs to
others), I would use more precaution when you are at any stores since you don't
know who has been there or in the parking lot.
As long as you aren't rolling on the floor at the stores <g>, it would be
very hard for any END particles to jump up on your clothes, however, changing
them is the best thing to do but you should be able to do it in the house. When
your clothes are placed into the dryer first then washed and dried as normal,
for certain anything that could have been on them is dead from the heat alone.
If you visit a feed store, you do need to be more careful and that is when a
nice garden sprayer filled with the Nolvasan mixture is good to use. Before you
get into the car, spray your whole body with it including hair, ears, and even
nose (nothing like a good Nolvasan bath). Blow your nose afterwards. Then while
pretty darned wet, you can get into the vehicle. Again, be sure that you are
more than just a few minutes before you get home to allow the disinfectant to
work. Shoes still get sprayed with Roccal-D Plus and repeat as above in regard
to shoes outside and stripping :) As a side note, I do NOT recommend that you
spray all over your body with anything other than Nolvasan as it can be
Since END has spread so badly, I honestly recommend
something really strong for shoes now and we have talked about these products
before (Virkon, Roccal-D Plus, etc.) There can be a big difference in pricing
but in most cases you will note that 1 gallon makes a LOT of disinfectant. Our
gallon of Roccal-D Plus makes 200 gallons in the proper dilution.
Doing a quick search I found it for $69.50 at http://shop.petmarket.com/petmarket/roccaldplusgal.html
which is not a bad price at all since it ran us $54.00 wholesale. I don't know
if anyone is still selling Roccal-D without the Plus but if so, I don't
recommend that product.
Q. Can you move around in the quarantine area? For
instance, can someone in LA County sell a bird to someone in San Diego? I know
we can't go out of CA.
A. Yes, that is ok. You must sell the bird within the
quarantine region, however and the bird must not leave same. That includes the
counties of San Diego, Los Angeles, Imperial, Riverside, San Bernardino,
Ventura and Santa Barbara. http://www.cocka2.com/newcastle/cdfa/qmap0108.gif
Q. Can birds be shipped into or out of California?
A. INTO California should be ok but check first!
OUT of the quarantine region needs a permit.
Into the Quarantine Region:
I talked to the CDFA yesterday regarding this; there is no
restriction on sending birds INTO the quarantine zone (although they advise
against it for obvious reasons). I asked if any special permitting/certification
might be required, the response was that only those health certificates that
may be required by the airlines themselves, but none would be required by
I initially contacted the CDFA main office, they referred me to the State
Veterinarian's office in Sacramento, and THEY referred me to the END hotline
Shipping birds into California MAY be a problem. Someone
on my other Yahoo bird group tried to have a bird shipped from Florida to
California this morning. The airline had told them there would be no
problem, but when the shippers got to the airport, the airline refused to
accept the bird, saying that California would not allow birds to be shipped in.
A miscommunication, or a different interpretation of the law by someone at the
airline, or is this simply the airline's own policy? Sounds like maybe
each airline may be handling the END/shipping issue in its own way.
Shipping or moving out of the Quarantine Region:
The USDA has started allowing breeders (and/or other
persons) to ship or move birds out of the quarantine region.
For information on this, you need to call them and find out the procedure as it
has been revised somewhat and is subject to further revision. The information
can be found at:
or on the APHIS site at:
It should take about 3 weeks to get a
permit as of this writing.
Q. If I am under home quarantine and have an inside caged
bird, how do I properly dispose of the leftover seeds and/or food and the
newspapers from the cage?
A. Per Dr. Gabriel Senties-Cue of the Task Force, there are 3
options listed in order of easiest
to more difficult:
1. Burial (at least 12" deep)
2. Incineration (burning restrictions, due to air quality standards, may limit
3. Composting (complicated process required)
4. Added after first compilation and a good idea - double bag in plastic, securely closing the open ends and dispose in a landfill. If you are concerned, spray with a clorox mixture before bagging.
Q. How are you going to prevent someone from walking in your yard who might be contaminated as I am concerned about the meter readers?
A. From one of our members:
In our area it is quite acceptable to go on a program that allows the consumer to pay "estimated" charges for monthly billing rather than having our meter read each month. I
think that the policy is that the meter reader actually only needs to see
the meter two times a year to verify that the estimates (based on previous
history) were on target. Or you could make an arrangement to call the
reading in to the office yourself and just have them verify once or twice a
It just takes some communicating with the utility companies - they are
fairly happy to try and comply with customer requests especially under the
circumstances of trying to practice biosecurity to keep your flock safe.
Q. If I am under home quarantine, can I take my bird to
A. NO! If your home is under quarantine, you canNOT take your bird to any location. This is illegal and can result in a fine of $25,000!
In conclusion, for the safety of your birds and all birds, DO NOT MOVE your birds to any location irregardless of if you are or if you are not under quarantine!