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California Calls for Ban on Poultry Exhibitions

01/24/2019

On January 17th the State Veterinarian Dr. Annette Jones of the California Department of Food and Agriculture, recommended that all poultry exhibitions be cancelled if they included birds from three southern counties affected with Newcastle disease. Justifying the request Dr. Jones stated, "It would support our disease containment and eradication efforts."

Too little and too late:-

  • The CADFA issued a request and not a directive

  • The request was issued nine months after the first outbreak.

  • The birds most involved in transmission are fighting cocks that generally are not exhibited. Admittedly there may be some fancy breeds held by hobbyists that may become infected but requesting poultry associations to cease accepting submissions from the three affected counties in Southern California is a belated and ineffective response to the disease.

Newcastle disease has been allowed to become locally endemic in a specific population of birds characterized by high mobility. Epidemiologic evidence to date including the extension from southern California to Utah suggests that participants in the illegal activity of cock fighting are certainly not going to respond to a "request from the State Veterinarian.