Newcastle disease is one of the most important viral diseases of poultry in the world. It occurs in most countries and has a devastating effect on poultry production.
The cost to the farmer would include deaths of the chicken, loss of production due to clinical disease, the total cost of purchasing and applying vaccines, the costs of eradication and quarantine programmes and loss of trade. The control of the disease is by the application of vaccines.
However, chickens that are reared in backyard operations are seldom vaccinated because conventional methods of vaccination for commercial chickens are not practical for backyard chickens. The village poultry industry (backyard chickens) is present in most tropical countries and is often larger than the commercial industry.
The practical approach, which is simple and effective, is to incorporate the vaccine in feed, which could be fed to chickens. This vaccine was successfully developed by cloning V4-UPM virus into a heat-stable vaccine. The vaccine is applicable for both village chickens as well as commercial chickens.
The vaccine was licensed to Malaysian Vaccine and Pharmaceutical Sdn Bhd. in 1995. It is now sold internationally.