In 2018, backyard and commercial poultry flocks in Southern California were significantly affected by a deadly outbreak of Virulent Newcastle Disease (VND). Given the severity of the disease, the California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) in partnership with the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) worked together to identify cases of disease and stop its rapid spread.
One of the most successful methods used to contain disease spread and achieve eradication in midyear 2020 was biosecurity. This finding underscored the importance of educating everyone who owns and handles poultry about biosecurity best practices and how it can help to protect their birds from other common poultry diseases. Effective biosecurity is like putting a moat around your castle to keep invaders out.
In an effort to prevent future outbreaks of diseases like VND, CDFA established the California Avian Health Education Network (CAHEN).