END Ruling in Utah
Utah Department of Agriculture and Food (LINK)
Utah bans importation of So California/Nevada birds (LINK)

Utah Bans Importation of Las Vegas, Nevada and Southern California Birds

In an effort to prevent the spread of Exotic Newcastle Disease in poultry, the Utah Department of Agriculture and Food has issued a ban on the importation of all poultry and other birds originating in or passing through certain areas of Nevada and Southern California. This deadly avian disease, which does not affect humans, was recently diagnosed in backyard poultry in Las Vegas (Clark County).

A federal quarantine now exists for the following counties: Los Angeles, San Bernadino, Riverside, San Diego, Imperial, Orange, Ventura, Santa Barbara, and Clark (Nevada).

Utah will not accept shipments of eggs, chicks, pullets, adult poultry, game birds, or caged birds from the quarantine areas and the enlarged surrounding area of southern California, and southern Nevada.

The importation ban applies to all live poultry, game birds, hatching eggs, and birds customarily used for household pets from southern California and southern Nevada or that have transited through those areas.

"The Utah Department of Agriculture and Food is extremely concerned with the possibility of disease transmission by undeclared transportation of birds, eggs, or equipment from the quarantine areas to Utah," said Dr. Michael Marshall, State Veterinarian.

The UDAF appeals to the Utah poultry industry, at all levels, and to the public, to implement the following precautions:

1. Do not accept, purchase, or transport birds, eggs, or equipment from non-approved or unknown sources. A Certificate of Veterinary Inspection and a prior Entry Permit is required for interstate movement of all poultry to Utah. All vehicles transporting poultry and other livestock across state lines are required to stop at the Port of Entry.

2. Do not visit poultry premises in the quarantine area.

3. Implement bio-security measures for your own premise including visitor restrictions, disinfection procedures, and screening of employees who may have contact with other types of poultry, including game birds.

4. Avoid events where commingling of birds will take place such as swap meets, exhibitions, fairs, cock fights, etc. Do not bring birds home from such events.

The disease is not considered a threat to human health, although persons who handle infected birds may experience conjunctivitis. Meat and eggs in the marketplace do not pose a risk to humans. The disease can affect most species of birds, including caged birds and game birds. The causative agent is a virus and can persist in the feces for long periods of time. Some bird species (parrots and some wild birds) may be carriers of the virus.

Symptoms exhibited by infected birds include greenish watery diarrhea, respiratory symptoms, conjunctivitis, loss of egg production, and nervous symptoms such as drooping wings, dragging legs, twisted necks, circling, depression and paralysis. Death loss can be as high as 90% in affected flocks. Producers who experience abnormal death loss or sudden declines in egg production should immediately notify the State Veterinarian at 801-538-7161.

This disease can cause costly losses in commercial poultry, backyard and hobby flocks, pet bird aviaries, etc. There is no effective cure for the disease and the only way to eradicate the disease is by strict quarantine, surveillance, and depopulation.

The outbreak could prove very difficult to contain and quick eradication will be a problem. The economic consequences are already far-reaching, and are not limited to southern California. Many states and countries are refusing to accept poultry and poultry products from California and, in some instances, from the USA.

Federal and state resources are being diverted from other important programs. Failure to prevent the entry of this disease to Utah could devastate the various poultry industries of the state. Anyone found to be in violation of Utah import requirements could face severe penalties, including citation and fines up to $5,000. Thank you for your cooperation in our effort to contain this serious threat to the nation's poultry industry.

All poultry and bird keepers are asked to report any signs of disease consistent with Exotic Newcastle Disease to the UDAF Division of Animal Industry at 801-538-7160.

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