Originally Compiled March 17, 2003
Last Updated April 9, 2003
Disclaimer: Please note that these responses were provided by the members of the END-birds list and do NOT constitute medical or legal advice. For advice in your own situation, consult with your own private physician, your veterinarian and/or your attorney.
NOTE: This FAQ has been compiled for your assistance and includes responses to the most often asked questions from the END-birds list hosted at Yahoo. http://groups.yahoo.com/group/END-birds/join Answers are based on knowledgeable responses and personal experiences of the members of that list. Our thanks to Sharon for compiling this FAQ and to the members who have helped others to learn more about living with END. This group has worked hard to educate the public about END, and for that, everyone benefits.

"What you are accomplishing may seem like a drop in the ocean. But if this drop were not in the ocean, it would be missed. - Mother Teresa

Frequently Asked Questions

Q. What are the legal rights and procedures to follow if premises are placed under quarantine?

A. http://www.cocka2.com/newcastle/riska1.htm

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?

A. http://www.cdfa.ca.gov/ahfss/ah/END_TEST/pdfs/End_cage_bird_policy.pdf - PDF Format or
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?

A. http://www.cocka2.com/newcastle/riska1.htm

Q. What is a forced entry warrant?

A. http://www.cocka2.com/newcastle/photos/war0228.htm

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?

A. http://www.cocka2.com/newcastle/biosec12.htm

Q. What is the typical cost of recommended disinfectants?

A. See http://cocka2.com/biosecurity/disinfect.htm

Approximate only:
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 **
** from: http://shop.petmarket.com/petmarket/roccaldplusgal.html

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 "uppers". 

  • 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 bleach bottle.

  • 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 large quantity.

    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 1970s END outbreak in CA, the answer is no: http://www.vet.uga.edu/vpp/gray_book/FAD/vnd.htm

    For more information in regard to the question of airborne see notes under: http://cocka2.com/newcastle/misc1.htm#ENDLINKS

    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 empty.

    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 your home.

    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 it.

    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 from SoCal?

    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 minuscule.

    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 HARMFUL!

    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 CDFA/USDA.

    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 800-491-1899.

    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 this option
    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 year.

    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 the vet?

    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!

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