Dear Nancy & list,
Enclosed is the Australian Veterinary Association circular on the Newcastle
Disease outbreak. I suggest that Megan check the web site or call the
number for more information. The release explains the action being taken at
present regarding wild birds. I don't believe there is any suggestion that
there is to be mass euthanasia of pet birds.
Patricia Macwhirter BVSc (Hons), MA, FACVSc (Bird Medicine)
Highbury Veterinary Clinic, 128 Highbury Road, BURWOOD, VICTORIA, AUSTRALIA
Ph: (03) 9808 9011 Fax: (03) 9888 7134
NSW Agriculture has imposed restrictions on the movement of poultry and
poultry products within the Sydney metropolitan area in the wake of a
suspected outbreak of Newcastle disease at two commercial farms in the
western suburbs. The Chief Veterinary Officer of NSW Dr Dick Jane said the
restrictions were part of the Austvetplan for controlling and eradicating
the disease as it is readily spread from bird to bird. Dr Jane said a
restricted area around the two affected properties prevents the movement of
birds, litter and manure out of the area. Movement of birds within and
through the restricted area will require a permit. The restricted area
extends from Broken Bay in the north along the
Hawkesbury-Nepean River system to south of Penrith and across to the south
side of Botany Bay. Dr Jane said the larger control area takes in all of
Hawkesbury Shire in the north west and on the southern side the shires of
Wollondilly, Camden, Campbelltown and Sutherland. All movement of birds,
eggs, egg products, litter and manure into or out of the control area
requires a permit. Dr Jane said a local disease control centre had been
established at Australian Defence Industries, St Marys. All bird owners
should make sure that wild birds, especially waterfowl, cannot come into
contact with domestic birds. All bird sheds and avaries should be totally
secure. Further enquiries on Newcastle disease can be made to the Windsor
office of NSW AG on 02 4577 0600 or the wweb site at
www.agric.nsw.gov.au/news/nd/. Samples from the two affected properties
collected by NSW Agriculture senior field veterinarians have been sent to
the Australian Animal Health Laboratory at Geelong to determine the
virulence of Newcastle disease involved. Australia has been free of
Newcastle disease in the virulent form. The presence of a non-virulent
strain of the disease in poultry flocks in the Sydney metropolitan area
means that they may have developed some immunity to the virulent strain.
>I have a request for the list. A friend of mine from Australia lives
>about four streets away (downwind) from the poultry farm that has been
>quarantined. She has pet exotic birds and is very concerned about the
>well-being of her pets. She has been unable to get any substantive
>information either from veterinarians or the government regarding the
>strain of the disease or how to prevent it. It seems that the quarantine
>is not very regimented in that she has not been visited by any official.
>She has been told that unless she is a registered breeding facility, she
>will not get any information except from the media, but nothing official.
>Does anyone on the list know anything that can help her? What is being
>done about protecting the feral avian populations in the area? Or are
>there plans for mass euthanasia such as at the poultry farm? Will the
>same be done to the pet avian populations in the area? How can she find
>out definitive information?
>If anyone can help, please post to me and I will forward to Megan. Thank
>you in advance.
>By the way, my quote at the end was from someone on this list. It really
>spoke to my heart on several levels, and I thank you for it.
>"Beware of half-truths....you may have the wrong half"