Avian Influenza - ACT Update

The ACT Government is today providing an update on the local response to Avian influenza detections.

Community members and local poultry industry are reminded to continue to practice effective biosecurity during the response phase, which is likely to continue for the coming weeks and months across affected jurisdictions.

The ACT has recorded no new cases of avian influenza (H7N8) this week.

The total local case numbers remain at one (1) commercial infected property and one (1) local backyard infection within the quarantine area.

Avian influenza is very easily transmitted by moving sick birds from property to property, as well as from contaminated boots, equipment and vehicles if proper biosecurity measures aren't in place.

Bird owners should continue to:

  • practice good hygiene.
  • make sure clothing are cleaned thoroughly after interacting with birds.
  • wash and disinfect equipment including cages and vehicles thoroughly if they are used to transport or handle birds, and;
  • restrict access of backyard birds, so they aren't in contact with wild birds and do not move birds between properties.
  • monitor your animals for any signs of illness.

Movement restrictions remain in place within the quarantine areas, which encompass a number of suburbs within the district of Belconnen. A map of the quarantine areas is available on the ACT Government's environment website.

"I would like to thank the Canberra Community for their attentiveness in reporting sick domestic and wild birds. We have assessed all the reports and tested birds where appropriate. It is positive to see a week of negative test results for all returned samples," acting Chief Veterinary Officer Dr Kyeelee Driver said.

"Monitoring and sampling will continue for some time. Further positive detections may transpire, and the ACT Government remains ready to respond to those, should they occur.

"The best thing bird owners can do is practice good hygiene when handling their birds, keep their birds at home and limit contact between their birds and wild birds.

"If your bird is unwell, please call your veterinarian to get some advice before taking them in for a visit. Your vet will let you know the best way for your bird to be treated while reducing the risk of spreading any disease," Dr Driver said.

The ACT Government continues to monitor the wild bird populations through current surveillance programs.

Given the proximity of the initial detection to the NSW border, the ACT Government will team up with NSW officials to increase our presence at local events and markets to inform the community about our response and increase awareness of positive steps community can take to reduce the risk of spread.

Bird owners within the quarantine area are asked to register their birds via an online form, this will help us to plan our response should further detections occur.

Avian influenza is not a food safety concern. It is safe to eat properly handled and cooked poultry meat, eggs, and egg products.

Supermarkets and other businesses may have restrictions on the number of eggs that can be purchased, the community should be reassured that egg supply disruptions are limited and are anticipated to return to normal levels.

For up-to-date information on Avian Influenza including advice for quarantine areas please visit the ACT Government's Environment website.

/Public Release. This material from the originating organization/author(s) might be of the point-in-time nature, and edited for clarity, style and length. Mirage.News does not take institutional positions or sides, and all views, positions, and conclusions expressed herein are solely those of the author(s).View in full here.