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7/20/18 - Due to tips from 2 of her clients, Dr. Bradley was able to direct CDFA staff to locations in both Los Angeles and Riverside Counties where significant mortality was occurring in backyard flocks.   Unfortunately, both CAHFS/UC Davis and the national lab in Ames, Iowa have confirmed virulent Newcastle Disease (vND).   This marks another active disease area in addition to  San Bernardino County.

6/25/18 - While new cases of VND in backyards continue to be confirmed, the geographic area involved has not increased greatly.   All recent cases are still in San Bernardino County.  Our State Veterinarian appreciates all the bird owners who have called the Sick Bird Line and all those who voluntarily are refraining from moving birds.   Remember to check the CDFA website for updates and links to excellent information on VND.

https://www.cdfa.ca.gov/ahfss/Animal_Health/Newcastle_Disease_Info.html

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6/11/18
- How do I dilute the vaccine for my small flock?
      Requests have been coming in for assistance with vaccine dilution.   Common comments, “The instructions in the vaccine box are for treating 1,000 birds, we only have 20, how do we do this?”   My answer:
     On every box of vaccine or in the insert, will be contact information for the company that manufactured the vaccine.   You want to call the Customer Service line and politely insist on speaking to a Company Veterinarian.   I repeat, a Veterinarian.   You do not want to speak to a Sales Rep.   The veterinarian will be able to guide you through making the appropriate dilution for the number of birds you have.  Dr. Bradley
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6/11/18 - Time should not be spent on playing the “Blame Game”
     I have been very disappointed to hear that a number of fanciers have been engaging in  assigning  blame for the current VND outbreak.   This is a serious waste of time.   The reality is that disease causing agents do not discriminate.   Maybe, for arguments sake, let’s say that in this outbreak no Standard bred bantams or guineas will be  involved.   However, the next outbreak might involve Standard bred large American fowl and some type of fowl raised for  meat or eggs.  
     Trying to assign blame when a poultry disease occurs is as foolish as old ideas about serious human diseases.   There were times when no one would admit to having a family member suffering from a potentially deadly disease.   The idea was that the disease was a “punishment” from God and no one should mention it.   I hope that all readers understand that committing a sin does not result in heart disease or cancer!
     I remember that following the Exotic Newcastle Disease outbreak of 1971 in Southern California, there was tremendous anger between members of the commercial poultry industries and the breeders and owners of parrots.   The outbreak had been traced to smuggled parrots from Mexico and the outbreak resulted in millions and millions of birds (mostly commercial poultry) dying in California.   There were some who made blanket condemnations of anyone who owned a parrot.   Legitimate parrot owners (never involved with any illegal activity) were seething about ALL commercial poultry producers.   It was years before the two groups would agree to even be in the same room.   Did this blame game achieve anything positive?  No.
     I urge you to use your time and energy to making your flocks as biosecure as possible.  When that is done, share the science-based information (much available on this site and those of CDFA and USDA) with others who own backyard fowl.
                                                                                   -Dr. Bradley

6/2/18 - Dr. Bradley wants you to be aware that more backyard flocks have tested positive in San Bernardino County.  This include a flock in Mentone.  Please spread the biosecurity message and keep California's poultry safe.   See birds dying  or hear of unusual mortality - call the Sick Bird Hotline 866 922-2473.

5/28/18 - Dr. Bradley wants you to be aware that that Virulent Newcastle Disease has now been confirmed in backyard flocks in the Muscoy and Bloomington areas of San Bernardino County.

She realizes that some fanciers may have birds entered in Southern California club shows scheduled for the next few weeks. She strongly urges you NOT to move birds off your property and to maintain the highest level of biosecurity.

5/21/18 - Dr. Bradley urges you to carefully read the following message from Dr. Annette Jones, California State Veterinarian.    Frequently you hear about Biosecurity (and read about it in the Avian Science Notes) - please be sure your flocks are biosecure.

URGENT  The National Services Veterinary Laboratory confirmed a finding of Virulent Newcastle Disease today (5/18/18) on samples from backyard chickens in California.   As a reminder, this is the dangerous form of Newcastle Disease, meaning it spreads extremely easily on contaminated shoes, clothing or equipment as well as from bird to bird. It also often kills 100% of an infected flock. 

This finding means we must to work together NOW to contain the disease. You are urged to check that all your biosecurity procedures are in place.  As always, do not let visitors/service people near your birds. 

Should your birds experience any unusual mortality (unexplained deaths), please immediately call the Sick Bird Hotline   866 922-2473.   This call is critical because it is the best way to STOP further spread.      - Dr. Annette Jones

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