Vaccination Against Newcastle DiseaseThe information below is intended primarily for commercial poultry growers. If you own a small number of backyard birds, please refer to this downloadable flyer.
Vaccination is our best defence against Newcastle disease and it is compulsory for all poultry producers who own more than 1,000 birds.
On 17 December 2002, the Newcastle Disease National Management Group, comprising the poultry industry and all Australian governments, agreed to include a compulsory vaccination program in the new Newcastle Disease Management Strategy. This was in response to a series of ND outbreaks between 1998 and 2002 that were eradicated by the slaughter of large numbers of birds. The consequential costs of those outbreaks to the poultry industry and to the broader community were considerable.
Recently, the implementation of revised protocols published in the National Newcastle Disease Management Plan 2008-12, has allowed for reduced vaccination and testing requirements in Tasmania and Western Australia. This is because Tasmania and Western Australia are now classified as low risk jurisdictions for Newcastle Disease.
In accordance with the ND Management Strategy, all Australian states have regulations to make vaccination of commercial flocks compulsory.
How is vaccination done?
Vaccination schedules are outlined in the National Newcastle Disease Management Plan 2008-12 Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs). DPIPWE has also produced a summary of the National SOPs applicable to Tasmanian Producers (Newcastle Disease Vaccination Program in Tasmania), producers must adhere to these SOPs. Commercial producers should seek veterinary advice to ensure they have the best program for their circumstances. In general, however:
- meat chickens are vaccinated by live V4 vaccine in their drinking water at 7 to 14 days old, although vaccination as day old is an alternative. Tasmanian producers may choose not to vaccinate their meat chickens. However they must adhere to certain testing requirements.
- layers are vaccinated first with live V4 vaccine once (for birds kept on the floor) or twice (birds kept in cages) and then with inactivated vaccine applied by intra-muscular or sub-cutaneous injection. Alternatively the inactivated vaccine injection may be replaced by a schedule of 6-8 weekly live V4 vaccine for the duration of the bird’s life.
Are there any sampling requirements?
Yes, producers with flocks of 1000 fowl must fulfil certain sampling and testing requirements. Specific requirements are outlined in the National Newcastle Disease Management Plan 2008-12 and accompanying SOPs. DPIPWE has also produced a summary of testing requirements applicable to Tasmanian Producers (Newcastle Disease Vaccination Program in Tasmania).
Samples must be submitted through the Mt Pleasant Animal Health Laboratories or DPIPWE must be notified directly of any samples submitted to other laboratories for all testing required by the SOPs.
In general sampling and testing requirements may include;
Samples must be submitted through the Mt Pleasant Animal Health Laboratories or DPIPWE must be notified directly of any samples submitted to other laboratories for any testing below
- Producers must submit samples for investigation of deaths (mortalities) or illnesses (morbidity) fitting the case definition outlined in the National Newcastle Disease Management Plan 2008-12
- Producers choosing not to vaccinate their meat chickens must conduct 6 monthly sampling and testing in November 2009 and May 2010. The details of specific testing requirements are outlined in the National Newcastle Disease Management Plan 2008-12.
- Any fertile eggs or day old chickens of layer/layer breeder strains imported from New South Wales or Victoria must also be swabbed and tested according to the procedures set out in the National Newcastle Disease Management Plan 2008-12.
How do producers get the vaccine?
Under the permit system, they are able to buy the vaccine direct from the manufacturers. To assist producers, DPIW is issuing permits, on application, for them to buy, store and use the vaccine. The main requirement of producers is that, in using the vaccine, they comply with the industry-approved Standard Operating Procedures and keep proper vaccination records.
What records do producers have to keep?
Producers are required to keep vaccination records for 3 years, as well as all vendor declarations for introduced birds and the results of any testing conducted under the Newcastle Disease Management Plan Requirements.
Under the Newcastle Disease management strategy, the Department has the role of auditing compliance with the compulsory vaccination program.
Where can poultry owners get a permit application form ?
A downloadable permit application form is available online or from the Chief Veterinary Officer who can be contacted by email AnimalDisease.Enquiries@dpipwe.tas.gov.au or phone (03) 6233 6875.
Is there a permit application fee?
If any producer organisation or groups of producers want to have a Department officer make a presentation on Newcastle Disease (or on the broader issue of emergency poultry diseases) they are welcome to contact Barry Calderbank on (03) 6233 6519 or 0407 858 293 to arrange that.
For information on the Newcastle Disease Management Strategy, visit the Animal Health Australia website at www.animalhealthaustralia.com.au