NSW Unveils Biosecurity Plan Following Bird Flu Detection

The NSW Government has enacted its emergency biosecurity incident plan to address the detection of avian influenza in the Hawkesbury district on a poultry egg farm, that has been confirmed as the High Pathogenicity Avian Influenza (HPAI).

This analysis was confirmed by the CSIRO national testing labs, the Australian Centre for Disease Preparedness today.

The HPAI detected is the H7N8 type and is not the same strain as the current Victorian outbreak. It is understood at this point to be a separate spill-over event, potentially from wild birds.

High pathogenic diseases spread quickly and have a high mortality rate amongst poultry birds, which is why there has been an immediate lock down of the farm.

The detection has triggered the NSW Government's Emergency Animal Disease response, including an individual biosecurity direction to the farm and business, closing it off.

Under the individual direction the affected egg farm has implemented quarantine to prevent the movement of equipment, and animals, to stop further spread.

A formal control order will be declared this afternoon that will extend biosecurity control to a radius of 1-2 kilometres around the farm site.

The legal instrument will guide the urgent actions of depopulating poultry and decontaminating the farm.

The Government's Biosecurity Incident Management Team is now up and running and has been liaising with the Consultative Committee on Emergency Animal diseases to discuss immediate response plans and the National Emergency Animal Disease Management Group.

NSW consumers should not be concerned about eggs and poultry products from the supermarkets.

This detection does not pose a risk to consumer health and the products are safe to consume, if they are handled and cooked as per standard food handling practices​.

The Government will work closely with industry to reduce the risk of spread and minimise any impact on egg supply.

As outlined in yesterday's Budget, the NSW Government takes biosecurity threats seriously with $946 million invested for protecting our State and our primary industries.

Detections like this demonstrate our Biosecurity system and plan is working to detect incursions when they occur, and then taking swift action to contain, manage, eradicate, and decontaminate.

Information on aviation influenza is available at the Department's website here. This website will be updated as information comes to hand.

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