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This month the risk for incursion of Newcastle Disease in the UK has been raised to Medium due to two new outbreaks in Belgium, reported at commercial poultry premises.

This disease can be serious for poultry and leads to fatalities within 24 hours of contraction.

Symptoms describes the symptoms to look out for in poultry:

  • respiratory distress such as gaping beak, coughing, sneezing, gurgling, rattling
  • nervous signs characterised by tremors and paralysis and twisting of the neck
  • unusually watery faeces (diarrhoea) that are yellowish-green in colour
  • depression
  • lack of appetite

Affected hens may also suddenly produce fewer eggs. Eggs that are laid may be soft-shelled.

The disease is spread through faeces, contaminated food, water and surroundings. It is generally passed on from bird to bird but can also be passed to humans causing conjunctivitis and further spread via clothing.

Newcastle Disease is more often found in Central and South America, Asia, the Middle East and Africa but most recently, and increasingly, in Europe.

It can find it’s way to UK in a few ways, through birds travelling into the country from the countries that the disease is present in, contact with infected items or contact with infected meat.

Bio security is integral to any animal facility so measures should already be taken to prohibit further spread of the disease where possible. However, on the occasions that the infection manages to get in, actions must be taken quickly and thoroughly to ensure it goes no further.

DEFRA guidelines for handling exotic disease outbreaks favours the disposal of carcasses and other infected by products and equipment by incineration. Allowing in some cases for onsite private incineration. SEPA and NETREGS provide outlines of standard regulations regarding the disposal of poultry waste, including dead stock.

Combustion of the infected articles will eradicate all traces of the infection, leaving just harmless ash. INCINER8 have vast experience in the control of diseases using incinerators. We have been heavily involved in these projects around the globe and provide our knowledge and advice to our customers.

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