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USDA CHANGES DOMESTIC QUARANTINE REGULATIONS REGARDING EXOTIC - NEWCASTLE

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Madelaine Fletcher (301) 734‑6125
Jerry Redding (202) 720-4623

NEWCASTLE DISEASE

WASHINGTON, May 23, 2008--The U.S. Department of Agriculture's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) today issued a final rule that changes the exotic Newcastle disease (END) domestic quarantine regulations.

These changes include harmonizing foreign and domestic regulations regarding the movement of dressed carcasses of dead birds and dead poultry; adding restrictions on the interstate movement of ratites out of quarantined areas; adding an option for the movement of pet birds; providing for the use of alternative procedures for treating manure and litter for composting and adding an additional surveillance period prior to removing quarantine restrictions.

APHIS has determined that these changes are necessary based on experiences during the eradication programs for the outbreaks of END in California, Arizona, Nevada and Texas in 2002 and 2003. This final rule will help ensure that if an END outbreak occurs again, the disease can be eradicated within future quarantine areas and disease spread can be prevented.

Exotic Newcastle disease is a highly contagious and fatal viral disease that affects all species of birds. END is not avian influenza and poses no risk to human health. However, it is another highly contagious disease of poultry and birds. It affects the respiratory, nervous and digestive systems of birds, and many birds die before demonstrating any clinical signs of the disease.

This final rule is scheduled for publication in the May 27 Federal Register andbecomes effective June 26.

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