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Newcastle Disease

Newcastle Disease is a highly contagious viral infection of birds and is classed as a notifiable disease. There are several strains of Newcastle Disease and symptoms depend upon which body system is affected. It is a legal requirement to report suspected cases to the Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA).

In the UK there are two notifiable diseases Avian Influenza (AI) and Newcastle Disease. These diseases have potential to severely impact on international trade, public health, animal welfare and wider society.

Newcastle Disease can be carried by waterfowl, such as ducks, geese, and other wild birds. During the bird migratory season the UK bird population is at higher risk and the public are advised to take greater precautions to limit contact between their poultry and wild waterfowl.


  • Loss of balance and uncoordinated movement.
  • Sneezing and coughing.
  • Head tilt or twisted neck.
  • Convulsions.
  • Paralysis.
  • Head shaking.
  • Respiratory distress.
  • Diarrhoea with blood.


  • Direct contact with wild waterfowl and wild birds.
  • Airbourne (aerosol) spread.
  • Droppings from infected birds.


Note that this home remedy is not intended to offer a cure or replace veterinary treatment, but may alleviate symptoms where no professional support is easily available. The suggestions are based on experience gained with our own hens.
  • Contact your vet; ANY suspected cases must be reported to the Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA).


The virus can survive in the environment for several weeks at low temperatures in bedding, faeces, water and debris.

  • Routine health care.
  • Commitment to daily care.
  • Secure accommodation.
  • Good hygiene.
  • Rodent and wild bird control.

In the event of an outbreak follow government instructions:

  • Bring all poultry inside.
  • Do not move poultry off your land.
  • Remove all outdoor food and water stations to discourage wild birds.

Read our leaflet produced in conjunction with BFREPA and the NFU which contains guidance on keeping your hens safe in the event of a notifiable disease.