Newcastle disease - information for commercial poultry producers

Page last updated: Wednesday, 6 June 2018 - 11:04am

In Western Australia, commercial poultry owners must comply with surveillance, reporting and biosecurity requirements in order to reduce the risk of Newcastle disease being introduced to their flocks and to ensure the disease is quickly eradicated if it occurs. Long-life chickens (layers and breeders) in flocks of more than 1000 birds must also be vaccinated against Newcastle disease.

All poultry owners, regardless of flock size, must report incidents meeting the case definition of Newcastle disease, or any suspicion of an exotic disease in their flock.

Vaccination and surveillance of chickens for Newcastle disease in Western Australia

The Biosecurity and Agriculture Management Act 2007 and Regulations require surveillance and vaccination of commercial chickens as per the Code of practice: managing the risk of Newcastle disease in Western Australia.

What chickens must be vaccinated?

Owners of 1000 or more chickens, other than meat chickens, must ensure that each chicken is vaccinated in accordance with the Code of practice: managing the risk of Newcastle disease in Western Australia and that records are maintained. The Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development (DPIRD) has developed the Code of practice in accordance with the Newcastle Disease Management Plan.

'Meat chicken’ means any chicken grown for consumption as meat and includes broilers, off-sex layers and free-range meat chickens. Meat chickens that will be kept for longer than 24 weeks must be vaccinated as for meat chicken breeders.

While it is not compulsory, owners of fewer than 1000 chickens are encouraged to vaccinate their birds.

Vaccines

Permits are no longer needed to buy Newcastle disease vaccine.

Vaccines must be:

  • registered for control of Newcastle disease in Australia and
  • used in accordance with label directions.

Veterinarians may change use patterns, but must provide appropriate written directions (see the Veterinary Chemical Control and Animal Feeding Stuffs Regulations 2006).

Vaccinators must also follow the vaccine label directions for care, handling, mixing and administration of the vaccine.

For information about how to vaccinate, consult your veterinarian or read the Vaccination Training Manual available from the Australian Egg Corporation Ltd.

Registered vaccines can be found on the Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority website.

What vaccination records should be kept?

Vaccination records must include:

  • name and address of the owner of the chickens
  • address where the vaccine was administered
  • date of vaccination, number and details of the birds vaccinated
  • name and batch details of the vaccine used
  • name, address and contact details of the person who administered the vaccine.

Records must be kept for three years and provided to a DPIRD officer on request.

Note: If you buy vaccinated chickens, you must obtain and keep a copy of these records from your supplier.

What surveillance is required?

Owners of all chickens must submit samples from sick birds meeting the Newcastle disease case definition as set out in the Code of practice: managing the risk of Newcastle disease in Western Australia. Owners must follow the Newcastle disease sampling directions and submit samples with the Newcastle disease laboratory submission form.

What biosecurity is required?

High standards of biosecurity are essential to reduce the risk of Newcastle disease. Required standards have been agreed between the poultry industry and governments through the Emergency Animal Disease Response Agreement (EADRA).

Contact information

Emily Glass
+61 (0)8 9368 3360