FEATURE and blood samples.

• Separate positive birds from negative birds into different units.

• Practice good hygiene and disinfection to prevent cross-contamination between units

• Re-test every three months.

Problems arise in that PDD affected birds shed lots of active virus, while ABV+ carriers shed small amounts of virus only intermittently. Some may become temporarily infected, but eventually eliminate the virus and make a full recovery. A third separate quarantine unit is therefore required. Negative birds that remain negative on comprehensive repeat testing may be considered virus free, and can form the foundation of a new (breeding) collection. Negative birds that subsequently test positive should be moved to the quarantine unit until future tests determine whether or not the individuals are permanently infected (in which case they should move to the positive unit), or just transiently infected with subsequent elimination of the virus, in which case they can return to the negative unit. However, this situation needs to be handled carefully, in the light of what has been said above about the variable test results. Birds in the positive unit that persistently

test positive should remain where they are, while those that subsequently test negative can go to the quarantine unit until further

follow-up tests have been carried out. If they then remain negative, they may be considered as virus-free, and move to the negative group, while if they re-test as positive again they should return to and remain in the positive unit. Any new birds acquired should go into the quarantine unit in the first instance. A complex and time-consuming system, but at present the only sure way of controlling this problem! Certainly what should not be done is to dispose of known ABV-positive birds to other parrot-keepers, without disclosing the problem. It is in this way that this infection (as well as others like PBFD) have been irresponsibly spread so rapidly in the past, and with devastating effects on people’s collections. Julia made the point that persistent ABV- positive, but clinically healthy birds (i.e. no signs of PDD) should not be put to sleep, but should be kept in isolation. They may even be bred from, if the youngsters

Julia made the point that persistent ABV-positive, but clinically healthy birds (i.e. no signs of PDD) should not be put to sleep, but should be kept in isolation. They may even be bred from, if the youngsters are taken away for hand rearing (Although I would qualify with that with caution, until we know for certain that the virus cannot be transmitted through the egg).


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