November 7, 2003



Newcastle Disease Caused 30,000 Poultry Deaths in West Java, Indonesia


In Indonesia, around 30,000 domestic poultry (gallus domesticus) in Cirebon regency, West Java, have died from the Newcastle Disease, locally known as tetelo.


"Farmers suffered a total loss of around Rp 700 million," said AR Glenarto, head of the Cirebon animal husbandry office.


The dead fowl belonged to farmers across seven districts -- Gegesik, Beber, Sedong, Arjawinangun, Palimanan, West Cirebon and Kapetakan, he explained.


In October, there were reports on the death of poultry, which stated the cause was due to delayed vaccinations.


"The virus, which has a fatality rate of 90%, destroys a large number of poultry in a relatively short time."


He added that the animal husbandry office would soon gather farmers and tell them how to prevent viral epidemics. "Vaccination only costs Rp 400 per bird. It is important for farmers to vaccinate their birds themselves, given the financial limitation of the regency administration," he said.


"We can only vaccinate 100,000 birds at most, or only 8% of the total poultry in Cirebon."


A report on Tuesday that symptoms of the disease included loss of appetite, swelling of the rooster's comb and sudden death in one or two days.


The office has yet to investigate the origin of the virus, but officials suggest the virus may have come from chickens imported from the southern parts of Central Java, such as Banyumas and Purbalingga.


According to official data, domestic poultry in Cirebon totaled 1.9 million in 2001, which fell to 1.756 million in 2002, and in October 2003, there were 1.9 million birds, before the disease hit.

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