June 6, 2024


Third poultry farm in Australia hit by bird flu


Highly pathogenic avian influenza has been detected at a third poultry farm near Melbourne, Australia, according to the Victoria state government, Reuters reported.


Hundreds of thousands of birds have already been culled following the detection of bird flu at two Australian egg farms last month. The third infected farm is located a few kilometres from the first and has the same H7N3 strain of the virus, while the second farm reported an H7N9 strain.


All three farms have been quarantined with movement restrictions in surrounding areas.


"The detection of avian influenza at this additional property is not unexpected and is the result of ongoing surveillance activities within the Restricted and Control Areas," said Graeme Cooke, Victoria's chief veterinary officer.


The state government assured that the outbreak poses no risk to consumers of eggs and poultry products.


Since 1976, Australia has experienced nine outbreaks of Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (HPAI), all of which were successfully contained and eradicated.


In contrast, a different strain of bird flu, H5N1, has recently spread worldwide, causing significant losses among farmed and wild birds. This strain has also infected tens of mammal species, spread through the US cattle herd, and resulted in human infections, including three cases in the United States and one in Australia.


-      Reuters

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