Wyo. state veterinarian emphasizes poultry import requirements in light of virulent Newcastle disease case found in Utah
A case of virulent Newcastle disease in a small flock of backyard exhibition chickens located in Utah County, Utah, was confirmed by the USDA on Friday, Jan. 18. In response, Wyoming State Veterinarian, Jim Logan, is strongly reminding poultry owners, dealers and exhibitors of the requirements to bring poultry and hatching eggs into the state.
To come into Wyoming, all poultry and hatching eggs — including those coming in for exhibition — are required to have an Interstate Certificate of Veterinary Inspection (ICVI or health certificate) issued by an accredited veterinarian from the state of origin. These certificates are valid for 30 days. A copy of the health certificate must be attached to each container in which the poultry are being shipped. Each container must also be labeled with the following information:
• The name and address of the shipper;
• The number of poultry or hatching eggs in the container;
• The breed of poultry or hatching eggs in the container;
• The sex of the poultry in the container;
• The age and hatch date of the poultry in the container;
• The name of the hatchery or person producing the poultry or hatching eggs in the container.
Additionally, poultry imported for resale or commercial egg or meat production must have a negative test result for each of the following diseases within 30 days prior to import unless they are from an NPIP clean flock for the respective disease(s): Pullorum-Typhoid, Avian Influenza, Mycoplasma gallisepticum, Mycoplasma synoviae and Salmonella enteritidis.
The Utah case is the first one of virulent Newcastle disease in that state and is believed to be connected to the current outbreak in California as three of the birds at the premises were recently moved to Utah from Los Angeles County, Calif. It is not a food safety concern as no human cases of Newcastle disease have ever occurred from eating poultry products, according to the USDA. In very rare instances, people working directly with sick birds can become infected.
The USDA describes the disease as, “a contagious and fatal viral disease affecting the respiratory, nervous and digestive systems of birds and poultry. The disease is so virulent that many birds and poultry die without showing any clinical signs. A death rate of almost 100 percent can occur in unvaccinated poultry flocks. It can also infect and cause death even in vaccinated poultry.”
Logan recommends all bird owners follow good biosecurity practices to help protect their birds from infectious diseases. This includes the washing of hands and scrubbing of 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.
Additional information on virulent Newcastle disease and biosecurity for all poultry flocks can be found on the USDA’s website at: http://www.aphis.usda.gov. More information on Wyoming’s poultry import requirements can be obtained by calling the Wyoming Livestock Board headquarters in Cheyenne at (307) 777-7515 or the Riverton field office at (307) 857-4140. ❖