Bird owners in Southern California are responding to outreach provided over the past several days related to virulent Newcastle disease (VND), and have reported sick birds. Samples from the flocks, which experienced increased mortality, were tested at the California Animal Health & Food Safety Laboratory System (CAHFS). The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Services (APHIS) National Veterinary Services Laboratories (NVSL) in Ames, Iowa, confirms all findings.

Four additional cases of virulent Newcastle disease in backyard chickens in California have been confirmed- three in San Bernardino County and one in Riverside County. For a list of cases visit the USDA website.

The California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) and United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) are reminding bird owners about the need for biosecurity to help protect their birds from VND and other infectious diseases. These include simple steps like washing hands and scrubbing boots before and after entering a poultry area; cleaning and disinfecting tires and equipment before moving them off the property; and isolating any birds returning from shows for 30 days before placing them with the rest of the flock.