Code of practice: managing the risk of Newcastle disease in Western Australia

Page last updated: Friday, 29 June 2018 - 12:20pm

Please note: This content may be out of date and is currently under review.

The threat of Newcastle disease is managed nationally through the National Newcastle Disease Management Plan. Components of this plan applicable to WA are given here as the Code of practice: managing the risk of Newcastle disease in Western Australia. This code of practice must be followed by all commercial poultry producers in WA.

All poultry owners, whether commercial or not, are required to report any suspicion of exotic disease, including Newcastle disease.

Disease reporting

Reporting and sample collection from any poultry flock meeting the case definition for Newcastle disease are required under the Biosecurity and Agriculture Management Act 2007. For case definitions, see below.

Newcastle disease is a reportable animal disease under Western Australian legislation. The presence or suspicion of this disease must be reported to the Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development, Western Australia (DPIRD) as soon as possible to any of the contacts below.

Reports can be made 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

  • Office hours: contact the Animal Health Laboratories (duty pathologist) on +61 (8) 9368 3351 or your nearest department veterinary officer.
  • After hours: contact the emergency animal disease toll-free hotline on 1800 675 888.

For collection and submission information, see the Newcastle disease sample collection and Newcastle disease surveillance laboratory submission form.

Case definitions for Newcastle disease

Layers and breeders

The case definition of Newcastle disease for layers and breeders is:

  • any shed suffering a 10% drop in egg production or the appearance of 5% unexpected shell colour or 5% shell-less eggs over 2–3 days or
  • mortality of 0.5% per day or more for three or more days in any shed or
  • any nervous or respiratory disease signs.

Report the event to DPIRD as soon as possible. The required samples must be collected and submitted to DPIRD within 48 hours. In cases where there is an obvious reason for increased mortality, samples should still be collected.

Note: where there is significant mortality or production loss associated with respiratory or nervous signs and depression, DPIRD will attend and collect samples.

For sample collection and submission information, see Newcastle disease sample collection and Newcastle disease surveillance laboratory submission form.

Broilers

The case definition of Newcastle disease for broilers is any shed showing:

  • mortality (not including culling) of 0.5% per day or more for three or more days after the first week of placement
  • respiratory signs lasting more than two days
  • nervous signs regardless of the duration.

Other requirements are as for Layers and breeders above.

See Newcastle disease sample collection and Newcastle disease surveillance laboratory submission form.

Record-keeping

Operators of all farms are obliged to keep records of mortality, production and any unusual signs.

Vaccination

Under the National Newcastle Disease Management Plan, the same vaccination schedules for 2008–2012 will continue for 2013–2016.

Note that live V4 is given in drinking water and inactivated vaccine is given by injection.

Further details and recommendations are available at National Newcastle disease vaccination schedules. Schedules that must be followed are set out below.

Meat chickens

‘Meat chicken’ means any chicken grown specifically for consumption as meat after processing. It includes broilers, free-range meat chickens and off-sex layers.

Vaccination of meat chickens that will be kept for less than 24 weeks is no longer required. Meat chickens intended to be kept for longer than 24 weeks, however, must be vaccinated as for meat chicken breeders.

Meat chicken breeder vaccination schedule (also applicable to meat chickens to be kept longer than 24 weeks):

Either:

  • 2-4 weeks of age live V4 and
  • 12-18 weeks of age inactivated

or

  • 2-4 weeks live V4 and
  • 12-14 weeks and every 6-8 weeks thereafter live V4

Laying hens and pullets raised in cages vaccination schedules:

Either:

  • 2-4 weeks live V4 and
  • 6-8 weeks live V4 and
  • 10-14 weeks inactivated

or:

  • 2-4 weeks live V4 and
  • 6-8 weeks live V4 and
  • 10-14 weeks and every 6-8 weeks thereafter live V4.

Laying hens and pullets raised on the floor

Either:

  • 2-4 weeks live V4 and
  • 10-14 weeks inactivated

or:

  • 2-4 weeks live V4 and
  • 12-14 weeks and every 6-8 weeks thereafter live V4.

Layer breeders

Either:

  • 2-4 weeks live V4 and
  • 12-18 weeks inactivated

or

  • 2-4 weeks live V4 and
  • 12-14 weeks and every 6-8 weeks thereafter live V4.

Biosecurity requirements

High biosecurity standards are essential. Standards have been agreed nationally between governments and the poultry industry and can be found on the Department of Agriculture and Water Resources' bird biosecurity webpage.

Contact information

Emily Glass
+61 (0)8 9368 3360