Following recent outbreaks of Newcastle Disease (ND) in Belgium and other European countries the Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA) has advised that the risk of disease has increased from low to medium.
All poultry and captive bird keepers are urged to enhance their biosecurity and vigilance, by monitoring their birds for signs of disease, and reporting suspicion immediately to their private vet and to APHA. See https://www.gov.uk, https://www.gov.wales and http://www.gov.scot for further advice.
Poultry species that are affected by Newcastle Disease may show the following clinical signs:
• Respiratory distress, such as gaping beak, coughing, sneezing, gurgling and rattling
• Nervous behaviour, such as tremors, paralysis and twisting of the neck
• Unusually watery faeces that are yellowish-green in colour
• Depression and a lack of appetite
• Produce fewer eggs which could be misshapen and soft-shelled
Government has not imposed any restrictions on bird keepers in response to the findings of ND in Belgium. We continue to monitor the situation across the UK and the rest of Europe carefully.