August 11, 2020


Second egg farm near Melbourne, Australia, hit by bird flu outbreak



A second egg farm near Melbourne, Australia, has tested positive for avian influenza -- also known as bird flu -- ABC News reported last week.

The discovery led to Victoria's agriculture department ordering all commercial free-range egg farms in the area to house their flocks indoors for 30 days. The latest incident came a week after the bird flu outbreak was first identified at another free-range egg farm in Lethbridge. All birds were culled at that farm, which has been placed under quarantine.

An initial notification from the World Organisation for Animal Health stated that the first farm identified in the outbreak had two separate sheds, and all 21,750 birds in one shed were affected.

The most recent outbreak was just the eighth highly pathogenic avian influenza outbreak on an Australian poultry farm in the past 44 years.

Wild birds are considered to be more likely the carriers of the virus, according to Victorian Farmers' Federation egg group president Brian Ahmed. This, coupled with the fact of more farmers moving to free-range egg farming, means that farmed animals will more often encounter wild birds, thus increasing the likelihood of avian  influenza outbreaks, said Marta Hernandez-Jover, an associate professor of veterinary epidemiology and public health, from the Graham Centre for Agricultural Innovation at Charles Sturt University.

- ABC News