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UPDATED: USDA confirms third California commercial flock with VND

Newest flock confirmed with virulent Newcastle disease is also a commercial layer flock in Riverside County, Cal.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Animal & Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) confirmed Jan. 10 virulent Newcastle disease (VND) in a third commercial poultry flock in California.

The latest case — like the first two cases — is in a commercial layer flock in Riverside County, Cal.

VND is not a food safety concern, APHIS said.

APHIS is working closely with the California Department of Food & Agriculture to respond to the finding, limit the disease’s spread in commercial poultry and then eradicate it.

According to the United Egg Producers (UEP), the second farm -- announced Jan. 8 -- is in the process of depopulating its 162,000 birds. UEP said APHIS is still waiting for details on the third flock, but it is a commercial layer farm with more than 100,000 birds approximately five miles from the second flock.

APHIS emphasized that it is essential that all bird owners follow good biosecurity practices to help protect their birds from infectious diseases. These include simple steps like washing hands and scrubbing boots before and after entering a poultry area and cleaning and disinfecting tires and equipment before moving them off the property.

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