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Officials: State Free of Exotic Newcastle Disease

State officials have declared California free of Exotic Newcastle Disease. The announcement ends a quarantine on pet fowl and commercial birds in a 46,000 mile zone stretching from Santa Barbara to San Diego counties.

The US Agriculture Department also lifted the nationwide quarantine on California chickens after concluding the state had eradicated the disease that paralyzes and kills all bird species, but isn´t a threat to humans.

The last infected commercial flock was found March 26th in San Diego and the last infected back yard flock was detected May 31 in Los Angeles County.

Newcastle disease ravaged California’s poultry industry in the 1970s, costing millions of dollars to eradicate. This time, California spent $160 million dollars to eradicate the disease.