Avian Influenza Detected At Eighth Farm In Victoria

Avian influenza virus has been confirmed at an eighth Victorian farm, which was already in quarantine.

Tests have confirmed the high pathogenicity H7N3 strain at a small commercial egg farm, which is located within the current restricted area in the Golden Plains Shire, where movement restrictions were already in place.

All poultry at the property will be humanely disposed of under veterinary supervision, consistent with national policies and the site will be cleaned and cleared of the infection.

Victoria's Chief Veterinary Officer Graeme Cooke thanked producers at all farms and those in the broader industry for their collaboration with Agriculture Victoria to carry out testing and surveillance activities.

'The detection is not unexpected and in fact shows that risk-based restricted and control areas are reasonable and that our surveillance measures are working as we want them to. Agriculture Victoria's comprehensive and ongoing surveillance activities are finding the infections and containing them,' Dr Cooke said.

'We're continuing to work with affected producers and the poultry industry to respond to these detections through ongoing testing and careful biosecurity practices.

'Movement restrictions are expected to be in place for several weeks, and we're working with industry to support poultry farmers with the logistical challenges they're facing,' Dr Cooke said.

Existing movement controls remain in place in designated areas near Terang, while movement controls in areas near Meredith and Lethbridge have been extended to the west. This now includes:

  • a restricted area that covers the impacted Meredith and Lethbridge properties and a control area buffer zone, which is bound by Bacchus Marsh Road in the east and the Colac–Ballarat Road on the western boundary.
  • a restricted area covering a 5 km radius around the Terang farm with a broader control area buffer zone covering a 15 km radius.
  • a housing requirement for all birds within these areas.

Within the restricted and control areas, permits are required for the movement of birds, poultry products, feed and equipment on or off properties.

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