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The fight against Newcastle disease

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The fight against Newcastle disease



Directive 92/66/EEC — EU measures for controlling Newcastle disease


Newcastle disease is a highly infectious disease in poultry and other birds, particularly affecting egg production, with serious socio-economic consequences. The directive aims to define the response of European Union (EU) countries to suspected and confirmed outbreaks.


  • The directive applies to poultry and other birds in captivity, including racing pigeons.
  • If poultry on a holding is suspected of being infected or contaminated with Newcastle disease the relevant authorities should be notified immediately, the holding placed under official surveillance, and the following measures put in place:
    • the poultry concerned confined without contact with other poultry;
    • no unauthorised movement of persons, vehicles, other animals, poultry meat, eggs, feed, waste, implements or anything else likely to transmit the disease;
    • disinfection arrangements at entrances and exits of buildings housing poultry and of the holding itself;
    • other holdings may be placed under surveillance if there is reason to suspect contamination.
  • If the disease is confirmed, measures put in place will include:
    • poultry on the holding is to be killed;
    • contaminated materials must be destroyed or treated;
    • eggs and meat from poultry slaughtered during the presumed incubation period must be destroyed;
    • buildings used to house poultry must be cleaned and disinfected;
    • no poultry must re-enter the holding until at least 21 days after cleaning;
    • a minimum 3 km protection zone, within a 10 km surveillance zone, must be set up around the site for at least 21 days, with official checks, clinical examinations and poultry isolated.
  • EU countries must designate a national laboratory to coordinate the response to the disease, working in cooperation with other EU countries and the EU reference laboratory for Newcastle disease, which is situated in the United Kingdom.
  • Approved vaccination against the disease can be carried out as well as emergency vaccination in the event of an outbreak.
  • Each EU country must draw up its own contingency plan to respond to the disease, complying with procedures in this directive, including setting up a crisis centre and local disease control centres. European Commission experts may make spot checks to ensure that these establishments are fully carrying out their responsibilities.
  • EU countries can claim financial assistance to help in managing Newcastle disease in accordance with Decision 90/424/EEC.
  • The Standing Committee on Plants, Animals, Food and Feed assists the Commission in managing Newcastle disease.


The directive will be repealed and replaced by Regulation (EU) 2016/429 from 21 April 2021.


It has applied since 29 July 1992. EU countries had to incorporate it into national law by 1 October 1993.


For more information, see:


Council Directive 92/66/EEC of 14 July 1992 introducing Community measures for the control of Newcastle disease (OJ L 260, 5.9.1992, pp. 1–20)

Successive amendments to Directive 92/66/EEC have been incorporated in the original text. This consolidated version is of documentary value only.


Regulation (EU) 2016/429 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 9 March 2016 on transmissible animal diseases and amending and repealing certain acts in the area of animal health (‘Animal Health Law’) (OJ L 84, 31.3.2016, pp. 1–208)

Regulation (EC) No 178/2002 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 28 January 2002 laying down the general principles and requirements of food law, establishing the European Food Safety Authority and laying down procedures in matters of food safety (OJ L 31, 1.2.2002, pp. 1–24)

See consolidated version

last update 26.10.2016