WASHINGTON – The US Dept. of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) confirmed 440 premises in California are infected with Virulent Newcastle Disease (VND). According to information by the agency, 139 infections are confirmed in San Bernardino County, 256 in Riverside County, 44 in Los Angeles County, one in Ventura County and one in Alameda County.
The USDA also confirmed one infected location in Utah County, Utah, and one infected site in Coconino County, Arizona.
In April, the VND outbreak prompted strict quarantines across Los Angeles, San Bernardino and Riverside counties and the affected counties received $45 million in emergency funding from the USDA to prevent the spread of the disease. The last major California VND outbreak was in 2002 and 2003 and cost nearly $170 million to eradicate and approximately 4 million birds were culled.
Poultry experts from California gathered on April 15 to address preventing the spread of VND. Representatives from the state of California, Univ. of California-Davis and Foster Farms along with 100 urban farmers and backyard poultry owners were present for the event.
APHIS stressed that VND is an animal disease, not a food safety concern and no human cases of VND have resulted from eating poultry products.