Re: birding-aus Facts and Fiction on Newcastle Disease

Subject: Re: birding-aus Facts and Fiction on Newcastle Disease
From: "Philip Battley" <>
Date: Fri, 14 May 1999 11:07:37 +0000
I'm not an expert on Newcastle Disease, but I do know that AQIS 
takes it very seriously. I was importing a small number of 
frozen shorebird specimens from China last April, of birds that had 
only just left Australia. In order to get them into Australia I had 
to  triple-bag them, each one sealed, and have them 
gamma-irradiated in Sydney to sterilise them. Given that waders are 
forever going back & forth, and that these birds had only just 
arrived from Australia, I was really dubious about the risk, but from 
what the AQIS folk told me, this diease (and another which was a 
possibility) can sit around on plants etc that infected ducks brush 
against and can be picked up extremely easily.

The belief is that these diseases are rife in China but I don't know 
whether this has ever been tested for in shorebirds. AQIS has been 
testing shorebirds in the Gulf of Carpentaria in the past for bird 
diseases, and I would love to know what they found (or didn't).


Phil Battley,
Australian School of Environmental Studies,
Griffith University,
Queensland 4111,
Ph: 0061-7-3875-7474
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