Exotic Newcastle Disease costs soaring

archive_import /

By JASON ECK

and The Associated Press

LOS ANGELES Governments have spent more than $35 million and imposed quarantines in three states to stop the spread of a poultry disease that has stripped many farmers of their flocks and forced others to pay high disinfecting costs, industry officials say.

Since October, when Exotic Newcastle Disease was discovered in backyard flocks in Los Angeles County, the federal government has spent $22 million and the state $13 million to pay for operating the Los Alamitos-based task force dealing with the disease, said Larry Cooper of the California Department of Agriculture.

Poultry and egg industries are also drowning in new costs, according to a U.S. Department of Agriculture-commissioned study. Those costs include disinfection and biosecurity upgrades and losses in sales and exports.

''Even simple things like disinfecting are beyond the reach of a lot of farmers,'' said Paul Bahan, owner of AAA Egg Farms in Riverside County's San Jacinto Valley. ''We're pretty much running on empty and have been for a while.''

Disinfectant alone costs AAA between $400 and $600 a week, he said.

About 2.1 million birds have been destroyed since the disease was discovered.

Diestel Turkey Ranch near Sonora has already taken steps to increase biosecurity on its ranches, said owner Tim Diestel. The company raises turkeys at its home farm on Lyons-Bald Mountain Road and at four ranches in the La Grange area.

Diestel said his ranch is run with "fairly high" biohazard practices. But, he said, he has taken steps above and beyond the ranch's current practices to protect against Exotic Newcastle Disease.

Diestel requires workers who have direct contact with birds to shower before and after entering a ranch facility. They must wear coveralls over their street clothes and wash their shoes before entering a pen area and again when they leave a policy the ranch had in place before the Exotic Newcastle Disease reports.

11499581
The Union Democrat
This image is copyrighted.

Reach all of Sonora, Calaveras County, Tuolumne, Angels Camp, Twain Harte, & Jamestown with your items to sell.

Ads appear Online and in Print

View Classifieds Place an Ad

Connect with The Union Democrat

Union Democrat Newsstand

Sunday May 29, 2016

Read digital interactive editions of our publications

Read Today's Edition Take A Tour

More Publications by The Union Democrat

View All Publications
Sheriff’s deputies respond to alarm at Sonora KFC

05/26/2016

Tuolumne County sheriff’s deputies responded with guns drawn to a holdup alarm ... more

Avalon Care Center fined for patient death

05/24/2016

Avalon Care Center in Sonora has been fined $80,000 by the California ... more

UPDATE: Probe begins in Don Pedro fire

05/25/2016

Investigators began sifting through the rubble of the Don Pedro Recreation Agency ... more

Homelessness, high school and the Butte Fire

05/20/2016

Cole Baisch arrived at Calaveras High School around lunchtime as the sky ... more

Deputies visit schools, build community ties

05/24/2016

You would think Tuolumne County Sheriff’s Deputy Nate Yorston was Santa Claus ... more