FIRST PHASE OF VACCINATION PROGRAMME COMPLETE
SHG is pleased to advise that the first phase of the vaccination programme for Newcastle Disease, in Chickens on St Helena, has been completed ahead of schedule.
The programme, to prevent further infection of poultry on the Island, commenced on Thursday, 16 October 2014, and has seen 848 chickens vaccinated in the St Paul’s and Half Tree Hollow area. No new cases of the disease have been reported and there are no links to wild birds or other livestock.
Head of ANRD, Darren Duncan said:
“Completing the vaccination programme in the time we did would never have been possible without the amazing effort of ANRD staff and cooperation from poultry owners in Half Tree Hollow and St Paul’s.
“Without this cooperation the consequences for the Island’s poultry could have been dire and now that we have managed to contain the spread of the disease, since the initial outbreak in mid-August 2014, we need to continue our efforts as a community to contain it.”
A containment programme to remove feral and free-ranging chickens will continue and the public are encouraged to contact ANRD if they know of any feral chickens near their properties. Poultry owners who haven’t contacted the division regarding their stock should also do so as soon as possible.
ANRD now also has an increased stock of the ‘Lasota’ vaccine which arrived on the NP Glory 4 and a further stock is being brought in when the RMS arrives on Wednesday 29 October 2014.
Progression of Phase 2 (Island-wide vaccination) is being looked at and will continue on the advice of the Senior Veterinary Officer, Joe Hollins, when he arrives on Wednesday. Details will be released as soon as a best way forward has been agreed.
The first two properties of the initial outbreak were released from quarantine on Wednesday 22 October 2014. However SHG would like to stress that while the vaccination programme has been successful thus far the Island’s poultry is still not free from this disease and the public are asked to continue to adhere to the simple measures below:
- Set up a footbath such as a bucket or washing up bowl filled with disinfectant or bleach at the entrance to the coop. Dip your feet on the way in and on the way out to create a barrier to germs.
- Wherever practical, keep your chickens inside the coop. Even if your set-up means you are unable to do this, keep all feed and water inside the coop.
- Do your best to exclude wild birds by blocking holes and using netting, and remove any spilled feed that could attract wild birds.
- Have a dedicated set of boots and overalls for your chicken coop which never leaves your property.
- Wash your hands after visiting the chickens.
- Discourage visitors to your coop and avoid visiting chickens at other premises.
Please report any unusual poultry deaths or symptoms to the Veterinary Service at ANRD on tel. 24724.
27 October 2014