After appearing to have taken the upper hand on the bird-killing Newcastle disease outbreak in Southern California, officials this month announced a commercial chicken flock in Riverside County had been infected and that mandatory euthanasia operations has expanded to include Riverside County’s greater Perris area.
Since the outbreak of the virus in mid-May, about 60,000 birds – mostly chickens – have been euthanized, according to Steve Lyle, spokesman for the California Department of Agriculture. Until this month, the infected chickens were nearly all backyard show birds.
Virulent Newcastle disease is deadly and highly contagious among birds, but is not a food-safety problem, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Dec. 15 news release on the infection of the commercial flock.
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