Pigeon Paramyxovirus (PPMV1) was detected in hobby pigeons in the Goulburn Valley and Melbourne in August 2011. Since then is has been found in many locations across Melbourne in kept pigeons and feral pigeons. There has been a single case identified in a collared sparrow hawk and spotted turtle dove. There have been no reported unusual disease events in Australian commercial or backyard poultry flocks to date.
Affected pigeon flocks have experienced high mortalities (most pigeons may die) associated with lethargy, gastrointestinal and neurological signs. Sick birds are lethargic, not flying, and may vomit a white tinged fluid with death ensuing after three days.
There is no registered vaccine against PPMV1 for use in pigeons but Newcastle disease poultry vaccines should offer some protection (see link below).
The Department of Primary Industries continues to monitor closely PPMV1 infection in hobby and feral pigeons and other domestic and wild bird populations across Victoria.
Pigeon owners that suspect their pigeons have PPMV1 should consult with their Veterinarian or call the customer service centre on 136 186.
About the disease: