Infectious Diseases 2007

Infectious Diseases 2007

Estonia confirmed the largest outbreak of Newcastle disease

5 November, 2007

Estonia confirmed the largest outbreak of Newcastle disease in its history at an egg production facility owned by the Tallegg company about 8 kilometers due east of Tallinn in Tulli.  Ago Partel, Estonia’s Chief Veterinary Officer and head of Estonia’s Food and Veterinary Board reported that 237,000 chickens and 1.65 million eggs will be destroyed at that facility and a quarantine of 10 km surrounding the facility is already in place. Financial losses will be about $2 million USD.  In addition, Toivo Novandi, Deputy Secretary at the Ministry of Agriculture stated that Estonia will begin mandatory Newcastle disease vaccinations. The European Commission has yet to react to the outbreak.

Although this facility is of average-size for the EU, it is one of Estonia’s largest facilities with 35 percent of all egg production.  Food and Veterinary Board officials say the facility will be cleaned and disinfected with production to resume in 2008.  They believe the outbreak to be limited to this one facility and speculate that wild-pigeons contaminated it.
Eggs account for just 2 percent of Estonia’s agricultural output, so the outbreak will not significantly affect overall agricultural productivity unless it spreads further.  Estonia’s Poultry Association expects a short-term increase in egg imports from Latvia until early next year, although will not speculate on the level as other domestic producers could compensate for the losses from Tulli.