Newcastle Disease in Belgium

23rd July 2018

Newcastle Disease in Belgium

Since April this year, Belgium has reported 11 cases of Newcastle disease in hobby poultry (including in a hobby dealers premises) and 2 in commercial flocks in east and west Flanders (more details on the individual cases can be found in the report presented to the Commission on 13th July - one week before the second outbreak in a commercial flock). The most recent outbreak reported on 19/07/18 is in a commercial flock 39,500 birds (awaiting information on the species).

Measures (cut and pasted from the Belgian Dept of Agriculture and Fisheries website)
Mandatory measures for at least 21 days
In the case of infected professional poultry farms, the following measures will apply for 21 days in which a zone is demarcated with a radius of 500 meters, a protection area with a radius of 3 km and a surveillance area with a radius of 10 km:

• In the zone of 3 km and 10 km around the infected farm, it is forbidden to move poultry and hatching eggs. All professional poultry farmers in these zones must transfer a company inventory to the Federal Food Agency (FAVV). In these zones all collections of poultry and birds are prohibited;

• in the 500-meter zone surrounding the contamination, all poultry, both from hobby holders and professional farms, must also be culled and vaccinated. In addition, every hobby holder must also provide an inventory of his poultry to the municipality.

• deviations from the ban on movements, for the slaughter of poultry and the removal of hatching eggs, in restricted areas must be requested from the FASFC
These measures are in addition to the measures that were already in force for all hobby poultry farmers throughout Belgium:

• a ban on gatherings of poultry;

• a ban on the sale of animals to and between private individuals.
Impact on UK
· Defra has considered the risk to the UK for incursion of ND is MEDIUM.
· There are several pathways by which disease could be introduced to the UK: through movement of live birds, the movement of wild birds, contact with fomites and contaminated equipment, clothing or transport or contact with infected meat and meat products.
· Several consignments of live birds (turkeys, chickens, game) have entered the UK from Belgium since early June from the Flanders area using the TRACES certificates. However smaller consignments or those classified as ‘captive’ birds are exempt from TRACES and enter on a health attestation.
· ND is a notifiable disease and an outbreak of ND in the UK would lead to movement restrictions and the country losing its disease free status and impact on international trade.
· The last outbreak of Newcastle disease in GB was in East Lothian, October 2006

We will keep you informed of any new developments and guidance from Defra as they are embarking on a programme of enhanced communications to inform of the heighten risk to the UK of ND entering the country. Defra will specifically target small holdings and trade bodies that represent the fancy fowl collectors and hobbyists.

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