Guest's Comments

DISCLAIMER: Visitors of Cocka2.Com have had some interesting comments to share with respect to the END outbreak in California. The opinions expressed by these authors are theirs alone and are not necessarily those held by the operators of the Cocka2.Com web site.
Photos of END Depopulation
Some Thoughts from Sue Swallow
Comments from the Norco Kill Zone
Poultry Products - Safe for the Bird Owner?
Damage Control by CDFA
Sanitation in the END Outbreak
Oregon takes Proactive Stand
Concern from Other States
Bird Shows and Marts Ban
Cure for END
CDFA Spokeswoman
What is CA Doing?

Photos of END Depopulation
Submitted April 1, 2003


Read/look and weep.

The birds were kept in an enclosed coop with a roof. According to the owner, her request for an appeal (months before the killing) was never acted upon.

No testing was done, but it's obvious that the birds were not infected with END as the "dangerous contact" -- in this case nearby flocks that allegedly tested positive -- occurred months before the killing. The maximum incubation period for END in poultry is about three weeks, so these birds would long since have become visibly ill or died if they had been infected months before.

The killing happened on 27 March, well after the revised policy was allegedly implemented by CDFA. So much for biosecurity and covered enclosed cages saving your birds.

Also, note the haphazard biosecurity. CDFA says the killing crews are kept separate from inspection crews, but we already know some crews are violating other CDFA policies. Are the exposed killing crews transferring END to inspection crews and spreading END? What about the 5(!) cops who were not suited up, yet were potentially exposed? Their vehicles (esp. floorboards) are thus potentially contaminated and may spread END via other cops who use the vehicles.

Even state officials admit END was spread by the task force in the '71-'73 outbreak.

Some Thoughts from Sue Swallow
Submitted February 6, 2003

The END virus is not supposed to be harmful to humans. I can tell you first hand that from where I stand that is not entirely true. I can see two major organs that the virus attacks in humans. Both of these can be found in the people of the task force, which work closely with the diseased bird or those they deem to be diseased.

The first organ is the eyes. You will almost always find mild to sever conjunctivitis. This condition hits suddenly and causes blurred vision or in most cases blindness, which of course must be one of, if not the main reason why the task force is killing healthy untested pets. They just can't see.

The other organ that the virus attacks in humans is the heart. This is far more serious than the eye. And will stay with these people for a life time. Spreading rapidly, it settles and festers. This leads to severe peritonitis which in turn kills the area of the heart where compassion and mercy are held. This in turn leads to a melancholy of conscience thus making the actions of the task force acceptable behavior for them, for they no longer feel. So without, having clear vision, and at the same time harboring a weak and diseased heart they can chalk it up to "Its all in a days work, after all we have a license to kill so let's go ahead and gas".

Unfortunately, this infection is not sensitive to all known antibiotics and the damage to the heart is irreversible.

One of the side effects of this affliction is the hole in the heart of those left in the wake of such outbreaks. The pain of their lose will be with them for a lifetime. We can only hope that time will heal their ache.

The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated.
- Mohandas Ghandhi (1869-1948)

Comments from the Norco Kill Zone
From a Responsible Poultry Owner
Submitted January 24, 2003

I'm sure by now you have heard of the explanations and questions that were offered at the Norco meeting. As breeders and Exhibitors of purebred poultry we are trying to reach all of our members (of poulty groups) within the DISTRICT. We all need to do our part.

What I have interpreted at the meeting is that the task force is basically the same as the fox in charge of the hen house. The right hand does not know what the left is doing. Questions asked were to confirm that this happening - and it is. Due to the fact that so many areas are involved. Mentions of Federal, State, city or county were referred to. Federal Laws are different then State Laws, and City laws are different then the County. This is why so much confusion is to be had (my opinion). Most of us know what our city or county regulations are when it comes to our birds. Some of us know our state requirements and regulations when it comes to our birds. But how many of us know the federal requirements? However, this is not about the purpose of the bird - this is about a disease, fatal, horrible - and it needs to be stopped.

Make no mistake not all breeders are cold hearted, money making, bird shipping, uncaring, irresponsible owners. Most of us started out with the "pet chicken". Yes, kept in a cage in the house (easier to clean that way :) ). We are listening - we are trying to do our part. I, for one, am not breeding more than what I need to stay on top of my show colleges in other states. I do not believe in killing sub standard fowl that I have hatched. I personally am not moving the fowl that I have nor am I thinking of moving the birds. I am still taking orders for birds, once the "all clear" is given I will start moving again with responsibility (as I have always done). We, in our circle of members, are aware and are trying to get the information out. We are advertising using biosecurity measures at this time of need for protection of our feathered friends and our neighbors around us. We know they are there, we know why they are there, and we want this disease no more than you do. We are trying to do our part. Let's hope the Game bird ring is doing it also.

Poultry Products - Safe for the Bird Owner?
This was written by a Microbiologist
Submitted January 9, 2003

The biggest danger of END contamination you are likely to bring into your houses is uncooked chicken or egg products. The virus can be isolated from poultry products and they are very difficult to effectively sterilise short of cooking. Even if the outside of the eggs have been treated the contents would not be. I will not have poultry products in my house till all this is over.

One of the reasons for the spread of the disease back in the 70's was the industry practice of using entrails and dead chickens as a feed ingredient. The processing was not sufficient to neutralise the virus.

END is particularly dangerous to the poultry industry as they do not have an effective vaccine for it and it is spread rapidly in the warm humid environment inside a modern chicken processing facility. The birds will shed the virus during the time between infection and death and so will pass on the disease creating a chain reaction.

Just as influenza and the common cold are not easily transmitted to healthy humans by objects that have been in contact with those infected, END is highly unlikely to be spread via inert objects such as seed and pellet mixes, cages or toys provided that these are not contaminated by infectious excreta or mucous. Airborne transmission would be by droplets which would not spread far and be rapidly diluted by the atmosphere. Sunlight and desiccation will also rapidly diminish the viability of airborne END.

The real danger is not from END but rather from the CFDA etc. IMO we need to be seen to be complying with their guidelines in order to not be seen as a threat.

Public talk (and these groups are public) of avoiding tracing and heading for the hills with our birds etc. could be used against us. The USDA could label us as dangerous radicals and dissenters with little regard for the law and could give them an excuse to target us and our birds.

Right now we need to be `model citizens' and work `with the authorities' doing our bit to help end this terrible scourge on our brother (and sister) chicken farmers. So while raw poultry products are no longer brought into my house as part of my `bio security policy' I am not implying any danger to us and the non bird keeping public. The local Chinese place does a lovely chicken chow mien and I can get my breakfast eggs at the diner.

Damage Control by CDFA
Submitted November 26, 2002
LINK for this article (from there look for the North County Times story dated November 26, 2002)
Now it seems they are making a big deal about explaining an isolated case of quarantine....where they didnít SWEEP in and kill all the birds. Damage control?

Sanitation in the END Outbreak
Submitted November 25, 2002
NOTE: The reason that this email from by Mr. Ernst was placed in this section is because his reply is directed to a question that we received at this site by one of our visitors.
Date: Mon, 25 Nov 2002 11:10:04 -0800
To: "" (
From: "Ralph A. Ernst" <*********>

Will try to address this in the next post but I can assure you that sanitation is at a very high level. Disposable clothing is used and changed every time. I don't have details of the procedures in use but normally CDFA personnel don't go on two premises in the same day.


At 10:19 AM 11/25/02 -0800, you wrote:
>Hello Mr Ernst,

>**With copies sent to Staff Reporters of the Daily Bulletin in Ontario, CA**

>Several readers of our site have asked us the same (or similar)
>question which we would like to see addressed and would appreciate your
>making this public knowledge in an END update or a personal reply if you

>Here is the question (from a visitor whose identity has not been disclosed):
>I notice in all the articles you have on your fantastic site it states that
>people engaged in the depopulation and clean up wear protective clothing.
>No where has it mentioned a change in footware or decontamination procedures
>after a site as been "cleansed". Unless this is taking place all personnel
>involved are a potential source of contamination-and in fact, may be further
>spreading this horrible disease.

>To be honest, this same issue has been widely discussed in a few Internet
>mailing lists that I am aware of. The sooner this information is shared, the

>Thank you for your assistance,

> Staff

Ralph Ernst, Poultry Specialist
Department of Animal Science
University of California Davis CA 95616
E-mail: **************
Office Phone: ********
FAX: ****************
UC Poultry Website:

Oregon takes Proactive Stand
Submitted October 24, 2002
I've got one more update for you and this one is a great success in my opinion. Please forward this along and perhaps other federal/state/county/city, etc. will take similar measures.
(NOTE: This is an excellent proactive stand being taken in the State of Oregon for which they are to be highly commended.)
Date of this Update


This letter is regarding the upcoming (BIRD EVENT) on (DATES).

As you probably know, California is experiencing an outbreak of Exotic Newcastle Disease. It began around October 1st of this year, and has not yet been contained or eliminated.

In order to protect your participants' birds, please ensure that any out-of-state participants at this show are aware of and have complied with Oregon's import requirements. All birds originating from out-of-state must have a current Certificate of Veterinary Inspection (CVI, or Health Certificate). Failure to comply with this import requirement is a Class A Violation (ORS 596.990) and can result in the animals being quarantined at the owner's risk and expense until released by the Oregon Department of Agriculture (OAR 603-011-0255).

The Oregon Department of Agriculture is very concerned about this disease threat to our poultry and pet bird industries. We will be increasing surveillance at bird gatherings in order to protect these groups.

Enclosed is a Fact Sheet on Exotic Newcastle Disease from USDA-APHIS.
(NOTE: APHIS Fact Sheet on Exotic Newcastle)

Thank you,

State Field Veterinarian
NPIP State Inspector
Phone Fax

Concern from Other States
Submitted October 24, 2002
Please read the following forwarded email. (NOTE: This refers to the UC END Update of October 23, 2002 HERE). I have not seen this info posted but it addresses liabilities, etc. Please make everyone you know aware that there ARE bird dealers bringing in their birds from the southern California area and are not checking to confirm that their birds are not infected.
After speaking with Dr. Hollberg with the Oregon Dept. of Ag I was informed that even testing a bird for END does not confirm that the bird is not infected and it can suddenly die several days after being tested. The State of Cal, Dept of Ag will not update their site on this serious and fatal disease, their last update as everyone can clearly see is Oct. 03, 2002 and bird dealers from the area are clearly telling the general public at these exotic animal and exotic bird shows that the news on it now is OLD news and it was contained a couple of weeks ago. This is clearly wreckless and irresponsible on their part. The email (REFERENCE as above) needs to be passed along to everyone which outlines their responsibility and liability in this matter.
Thanks for all of your updates, it is very much appreciated and has caused me to do endless hours of research on the subject. Also something else of worthiness... According to the University Of California's web site... Their link that is posted on your site ... the first paragraph, last sentence states: ND CAN ALSO CAUSE CONJUNCTIVITIS IN HUMANS. (pink eye)
Again, thank you so much for making us aware of END. It has made me open my eyes, exercise concern and care and started this drive within me that has been brewing for weeks, researching this for myself... Desperately only wanting to make other people aware of it and hope they will at least be honest in dealing with the public. If they are not honest and the USDA does nothing to post warnings at these shows, I can see a nationwide epidemic in the making... Simply because although we are aware of it, the general public is not and spending a few dollars on a bird and the bird dies, most people think nothing of it. They simply don't know. Now talk about the general public being informed... Same scenerio, they would question it and possibly call and report it... thus aiding in preventing an outbreak.

Bird Shows and Marts Ban
Submitted October 23, 2002
CDFA is working on guidelines so that bird shows and marts can continue "safely." There is no way whatsoever that this can be done in any safe manner. Why is the State backing off from its original ban of all bird shows? What kind of pressure has been placed on the State and by whom which causes the State to endanger possibly the entire State being plagued with this deadly disease?
A total ban must be kept in place or there will be even rougher roads ahead. Lifting this ban in any way is asking for a major catastrophe!

A Cure for Exotic Newcastle Disease - BHT
Submitted October 18, 2002
There is a viable way of protecting parrots and other bird flocks. Introduce quantities of BHT food preservative into their diet. What happens is that BHT readily enters the body of the parrots and attaches itself to the virus. The outer lipid-layer is either removed from the virus or the outer coating is rendered inert, unable to infect tissue cells (Link to Delano Report - BHT).
Ever since 1975, BHT has been increased in the feed of poultry, with the understanding that it is a very effective deterrent to END. Other research literature has quoted that BHT kills every form of lipid-coated virus, which includes PDD and HIV! The procedure is to introduce enough BHT into the parrot's meals, and observe good quarantine practice. If one animal is showing symptoms, isolate the animal and increase the dose of BHT by direct medication methods - a mixture of Olive oil and formula with dissolved BHT and orally feed the animal via syringe.
There have been reports of BHT being harmful to parrots. Over a long time this might be the case. BHT is much kinder than BHA or ethoxyquin, the latter two having no effect on END. I give our cocka2s and other parrots BHT three times a week in their hot meals. I take 500 mg of BHT a day myself, and I've been taking it since 1980. No adverse side effects yet.

CDFA Spokeswoman Asleep at the Wheel
Submitted October 17, 2002
The California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) certainly has found themselves a remarkable spokeswoman by the name of Laticia Rico. I think it's about time they give Rico some hints on what to say before she again opens her mouth that makes one wonder what intelligence the CDFA has in their department.
Quoting from an article by the North County Times, please note the following:
The disease most commonly infects chickens, Rico said. But other birds are also susceptible to the disease. Officials say the disease may have been brought to the area by Amazon parrots, who are known carriers of the disease but do not show symptoms and can carry the virus for more than 400 days.

"There is illegal bird smuggling in Southern California where exotic birds come in from south of the border," Rico said.
Hello, Rico, don't you even read reports from your own department? The birds that were first depopulated were gamefowl and that is where the discovery of END was made. Additionally, the disease has been found in "small backyard flocks." Now I don't know where Rico has been educated but I have yet to see an exotic bird like an Amazon parrot in anyone's backyard flock frolicing around with fighting cocks.
This is not the first time that the State has tried to place the blame of the current outbreak on "exotic birds." Fighting cocks do not meet that definition. What kind of games are they trying to play here?
Are we trying to be so politically correct that we are going to ignore the facts that END was most likely introduced into US gamefowl by illegal smuggling of gamefowl, even possibly by illegally entering persons simply because we don't want to hurt anyone's sensitive feelings?
Wake up, Rico. Parrots and gamefowl don't coexist in backyards. Stop this scam and lay the blame where it belongs. The public is not as stupid as you think.
Prediction: To date we have heard nothing in regard to parrots. Want to bet that the State comes up with a quick report that one or more of the initial depopulated locations had a parrot there too?

What is California is doing? Looks like nothing to me!
Submitted October 17, 2002
The CDFA website has this to say about Newcastle Disease:
Exotic Newcastle disease is a contagious and fatal viral disease affecting all species of birds. It is one of the most infectious diseases of poultry in the world; it is so virulent that many birds die without showing any clinical signs, and a death rate of nearly 100 percent can occur. Outbreaks of exotic Newcastle disease severely affect the poultry industry. In 1971, a major outbreak occurred in commercial poultry flocks in Southern California. The disease threatened not only the California poultry industry but the entire U.S. poultry and egg supply. In all, 1,341 infected flocks were identified, and almost 12 million birds were destroyed. The eradication program cost taxpayers $56 million, severely disrupted the operations of many producers, and increased the prices of poultry and poultry products to consumers.
The State of California has a current outbreak of END. The CDFA spokeswoman stated: (Link)
"While the state has seen smaller outbreaks of Newcastle disease since the 1971 epidemic, they were all easily contained, according to Rico, who says the current outbreak is the largest since 1971."
So the State goes door to door and sets up a hotline. Where is the media coverage? Way to go California - really aggressive action!

Photos of END Depopulation
Some Thoughts from Sue Swallow
Comments from the Norco Kill Zone
Poultry Products - Safe for the Bird Owner?
Damage Control by CDFA
Sanitation in the END Outbreak
Oregon takes Proactive Stand
Concern from Other States
Bird Shows and Marts Ban
Cure for END
CDFA Spokeswoman
What is CA Doing?

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