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Newcastle Disease, Australia

Impact Worksheet, May 13, 2002

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Summary:

An outbreak of virulent Newcastle disease was detected on 8 May 2002 in Australia. One outbreak was reported involving 250,000 chickens located on a poultry layer farm near the town of Meredith in the western part of the State of Victoria. Confirmation was given by the Office of the Chief Veterinary Officer in Australia, on 12 May 2002, a result of diagnostic testing completed at the Australian Animal Health Laboratory (AAHL) in Geelong, Victoria. The flock has been quarantined and poses no immediate threat to other poultry operations.

Australia’s overall poultry production and trade volumes are small compared to worldwide levels. The U.S. imported 14,000 live birds that were not chickens, turkeys or ducks from Australia in 2001. Hatching eggs were imported from Australia in 2000, 2001 and in January and February 2002.

Prior to the outbreak, the U.S. recognized Australia as free of Newcastle disease. Live birds are imported from Newcastle disease free countries with a USDA import permit, a veterinary health certificate issued by a national government veterinarian from the exporting country and are quarantined for 30 days at a USDA Animal Import Center. Imported hatching eggs are not quarantined from Newcastle disease free countries, but need a USDA import permit and a veterinary health certificate issued by the exporting country.

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Newcastle Australia

How extensive is the disease in the affected country, and what was the country’s disease status prior to the outbreak?

On 10 May 2002 an outbreak of virulent Newcastle disease was reported to the OIE at one location on a poultry layer farm near the town of Meredith, Victoria, approximately 75 kms west of Melbourne (see flag on map). The outbreak involved a flock of 250,000 susceptible layer chickens. Immediate action was taken to quarantine the flock. Two additional layer flocks in Victoria were identified as having had contact with the suspect flock. The two additional layer flocks remain healthy showing no clinical or serological evidence of Newcastle disease. No additional quarantine or movement restrictions have been imposed by other Australian States and Territories.

In 2000, Australia had an outbreak of virulent Newcastle disease that was controlled through depopulation, slaughter and vaccination. Current control measures include a modified stamping out program (only sick animals are slaughtered) and surveillance and vaccination.

Prior to this outbreak, the U.S. recognized Australia as free of Newcastle disease. Live birds are imported from Newcastle disease free countries with a USDA import permit, a veterinary health certificate issued by a national government veterinarian from the exporting country and are quarantined for 30 days at a USDA Animal Import Center. Imported hatching eggs are not quarantined from Newcastle disease free countries by the U.S., but a USDA import permit and a veterinary health certificate issued by the exporting country are required.

Source: OIE Disease Information Report and ProMED

What is the country’s place in the international market for affected animals and animal products?

Australian stocks of live chickens in 2001 were 96 million and which represented less than 0.6 percent of world chicken stocks. Australia also had small stocks of duck and turkey stocks. Australia produced 149,000 metric tons of hen eggs in 2001, only 0.3 percent of world hen egg production.

Table 1: Poultry Stocks and Production, Australia, 2000 and 2001

2000

2001

Production (1,000 head or mt)

Production (1,000 head or mt)

% of World Production

Live Chicken Stocks (hd)

96,000

96,000

0.6%

Hen Eggs (mt)

148,000

149,000

0.3%

Chicken Meat (mt)

613,367

662,000

1.0%

Live Duck Stocks (hd)

400

400

<0.1%

Duck Meat (mt)

8,038

8,200

0.3%

Live Turkey Stocks (hd)

1,300

1,300

0.5%

Turkey Meat (mt)

22,800

22,800

0.4%

Source: United Nations FAO

What is the country’s production and trade in affected animals and animal products?

Australia exported live chickens, eggs and egg products, chicken meat, duck meat and turkey meat. Australian exports do not represent a significant proportion of total world exports for any of these products.

Table 2: Exports of live poultry and poultry products, Australia, 1999 - 2000

Exports

1999

2000

% of World in 2000

quantity (# head or mt)

value (1000 $)

quantity (# head or mt)

value (1000 $)

quantity (# head or mt)

value (1000 $)

Live Chickens (hd)

592

1,089

2,322

486

0.3%

<0.1%

Eggs in the shell (mt)

564

2,694

129

715

<0.1%

<0.1%

Eggs, whole dry hen yolks (mt)

11

61

5

20

<0.1%

<0.1%

Eggs liquid, dried (mt)

890

1,226

690

922

0.4%

0.3%

Chicken Meat (mt)

13,853

9,847

14,127

9,977

0.2%

0.1%

Canned Chicken Meat (mt)

1,737

1,943

1,612

1,683

0.3%

<0.1%

Duck Meat (mt)

268

462

401

425

0.4%

0.2%

Turkey Meat (mt)

4,866

2,362

3,550

2,003

0.4%

0.1%

Duck Liver (mt)

189

1,267

30

182

1.3%

0.6%

Source: United Nations FAO

What are the U.S. imports of affected animals or animal products from the country?

The U.S. imported a small number of birds and eggs for hatching from Australia in 2000 and 2001. In 2001, 13,887 unspecified live birds were imported from Australia; these birds were not chickens, turkeys or ducks. During January and February 2002, no live birds were imported from Australia. The U.S. imported 9,287 dozen hatching eggs in 2001, these eggs were valued at $215 million. During January and February 2002, 38 dozen hatching eggs were imported from Australia. Neither Mexico nor Canada imported any poultry or poultry products from Australia in 2001 .

Table 3: U.S. Imports of Animal Products from the Australia, 2000 and 2001

Product

2000

2001

January & February 2002

quantity (no or doz)

value (million $)

quantity (no or doz)

value (million $)

quantity (no or doz)

value (million $)

Other birds, live unspecified (no)

11,506

149

13,887

153

0

0

Birds eggs in shell, for hatching (dz)

4,734

143

9,287

215

38

9

Source: World Trade Atlas

What is the level of passenger traffic arriving in the United States from the affected country?

A total of 391,383 passengers arrived on direct flights to the U.S. from Australia in 2000. This number does not include passengers who arrived in the U.S. from Australia via indirect flights.

As part of APHIS-PPQ’s agriculture quarantine inspection monitoring, 1052 air passengers from Australia were sampled for items of agricultural interest in fiscal year 2000. Of these passengers, only one was carrying an item, weighing 1 kg, which could potentially harbor the Newcastle virus. None of the passengers reported plans to visit or work on a ranch or farm while in the U.S.

Source: APHIS-PPQ Agricultural Quarantine Inspection Database

CEI’s plans for follow up:

As of 13 May 2002, CEI has no plans for further reporting on Newcastle disease in Australia. If you seek more information or wish to comment on this worksheet, please reply by e-mail or contact Jennifer Grannis at (970) 494-7328 or Nancy Baker at (970) 494-7329.

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