Newcastle disease found on two farms in Belgium
One premises had >3,600 poultry present and was reportedly a dealer in hobby birds, according to the Belgian Authorities.
The second outbreak was in a much larger commercial premises with approximately 60,000 poultry and, according to the disease report, fewer than 10% of birds showed severe clinical signs or mortality.
In addition to this, since June, the Belgian Authorities have reported ten outbreaks of Newcastle Disease (ND) at hobbyist poultry keeper premises in Liege, Antwerp, Hainaut, Brabant Wallon, Brabant Flamand, East Flanders and West Flanders.
For each of these reported cases in non-commercial poultry, there are no commercial poultry premises within the 500m zone. The birds on each premises are kept in captivity.
The species of birds affected, and the species of birds kept at each of the premises have not yet been reported.
According to the reports made by the Authorities at the EU Standing Committee on the Plants, Animals, Food and Feed Animal Health meeting, (PAFF, 2018), any birds showing clinical signs are being enthanased, while other birds present are being vaccinated.
There was also a report of ND in Luxemburg in May, at a location on the border with Belgium, at a premises with 13 hobby birds, and one in Belgium on the 26th April in Liege, also in hobby birds.
Newcastle Disease is a serious notifiable disease of poultry which can cause large losses in unvaccinated domestic poultry, particularly chickens.
It is considered endemic in many countries in Central and South America, Asia, the Middle East and Africa and is occasionally reported in Europe most often in backyard systems in the east.
The causative agent, avian avulavirus type -1 (formerly Avian Paramyxovirus-1) is highly variable in its ability to infect different avian species and to cause differing severity of disease. ■