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Bird Flu found in Hawkesbury Egg Farm

Jun 19, 2024

Bird Flu has been detected on a Hawkesbury egg farm sparking a biosecurity emergency.

The New South Wales Government has launched its emergency biosecurity incident plan following the detection of avian influenza at a poultry egg farm in the Hawkesbury. Confirmed as the highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) H7N8 strain, this outbreak has necessitated immediate containment measures.

The outbreak, confirmed by the CSIRO national testing labs at the Australian Centre for Disease Preparedness, appears to be a separate spill-over event, potentially from wild birds, and is not related to the current avian influenza outbreak in Victoria.

High pathogenic diseases like HPAI H7N8 spread rapidly and can cause high mortality rates among poultry. In response, the NSW Government has implemented an immediate lockdown of the affected farm. The emergency biosecurity plan includes an individual biosecurity direction that enforces quarantine on the farm to prevent the movement of equipment and animals, thereby curbing further spread of the virus.

The NSW Department of Primary Industries said that this afternoon, a formal control order will be declared, extending biosecurity control to a 1-2 kilometre radius around the farm. This legal directive will guide urgent actions such as the depopulation of poultry and decontamination of the farm.

The Biosecurity Incident Management Team is operational and coordinating with the Consultative Committee on Emergency Animal Diseases and the National Emergency Animal Disease Management Group to formulate and implement immediate response plans.

The Department said there is no risk to human health from consuming eggs and poultry products, provided they are handled and cooked according to standard food safety practices.

The NSW Government, in collaboration with industry partners, said it aims to minimise any impact on egg supply and prevent the spread of the disease. It said the recent state budget underscores the government’s commitment to biosecurity, with a $946 million investment to protect the state’s primary industries.

“The detection of avian influenza in Hawkesbury demonstrates that our biosecurity system is effective in identifying incursions and swiftly acting to contain, manage, and eradicate them,” Minister for Agriculture and Western NSW, Tara Moriarty said.

For further information on avian influenza, updates can be found on the Department of Primary Industries’ website https://www.dpi.nsw.gov.au/animals-and-livestock/poultry-and-birds/health-disease/avian-influenza

 

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