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Newcastle disease is a highly contagious viral disease of birds. It is a notifiable disease.

First published:
19 November 2018
Last updated:

The last outbreak in Great Britain was in 2006, but this disease remains a problem world-wide.

Suspicion and confirmation

Contact your local Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA) office immediately on 0300 303 8268, if you suspect Newcastle disease.

APHA vets will investigate suspected cases.

Clinical signs

The following clinical signs may be present:

  • depression
  • lack of appetite
  • respiratory distress with gaping beak
  • coughing and sneezing
  • snicking, gurgling and rattling
  • yellow-ish green diarrhoea
  • nervous signs
  • reduced egg production and laying of soft abnormal eggs

Transmission and prevention

The disease can be spread by direct contact with:

  • the excretions of an infected bird
  • contaminated feed
  • contaminated equipment

You can help prevent the disease by:

  • vaccinating your animals against the disease
  • practicing strict biosecurity on your premises