May 29, 2024

 

More than 500,000 birds dead as bird flu spreads to second poultry farm in Victoria, Australia

 

 

 

Avian influenza has spread to a second poultry farm in Victoria, Australia, authorities have confirmed, which has led to more than 500,000 birds being euthanased last week.

 

The H7N3 strain of the virus commonly known as bird flu was found on an egg farm in Meredith on May 22 and has now been linked to another site 130 kilometres south-west, near Terang. The ABC understands the two farms are owned by the same person.

 

The H7N3 has resulted in 400,000 chicken deaths at the Meredith farm. A 5km restricted area has been established around the Meredith property and a 1.5km exclusion zone is in place around the Terang property.

 

Poultry and equipment can only be moved by authorised officials.

 

Additional movement controls and surveillance within at least 15km of properties are in place and permits are required for the movement of poultry, poultry products and equipment.

 

Victorian Chief Veterinary Officer Graeme Cooke said the Terang egg farm housed more than 150,000 birds.

 

"It's not unusual for poultry farms to be under the same management in very different areas — it's much too early to draw any conclusions and we're awaiting the results of the laboratory analysis," Cooke said. "The birds on the infected premises which are showing clinical signs … are humanely destroyed and disposed of in a safe manner, all to prevent any onwards spread."

 

This is the ninth outbreak of avian influenza recorded in Australian poultry farms.

 

The most recent outbreak was in Victoria four years ago and began at a poultry farm in the state's west.

 

- ABC News

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