Local News

Farmers, Bird Owners Warned Of Deadly Poultry Disease

Posted April 2, 2003 10:28 a.m. EST

— The state's top veterinarian is warning poultry farmers and pet bird owners to watch out for a deadly disease.

Illegal bird smugglers are blamed for the worst outbreak of Exotic Newcastle Disease in 30 years, now ravaging parts of California, Nevada and Arizona. More than two million birds have been destroyed and thousands of areas are quarantined.

North Carolina officials fear for the state's multi-billion dollar poultry industry, as well zoos and pet birds.

They said the disease is serious enough that people who have birds should stay away from other birds and even other bird owners.

Humans cannot catch the virus.