July 16, 2024

Australia’s bird flu outbreak has spread to an eighth Victorian farm, with a highly contagious strain of the disease detected at a commercial egg farm in the Meredith area.

Testing yesterday confirmed the presence of a high pathogenicity H7N3 strain of avian influenza at a farm within the restricted area, which encases a large portion of the Golden Plains Shire.

It’s understood the property was already in quarantine when the virus was detected.

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All poultry on the farm will be “safely and humanely disposed of” before the site is cleaned and cleared of infection, according to Agriculture Victoria.

Victoria has been grappling to control the spread of the virus since May 22, when the first case of avian influenza was confirmed on a farm near Meredith, in the state’s west.

Currently, seven infected properties near Meredith are confirmed to have a high pathogenicity H7N3 strain of avian influenza, and one infected property near Terang is confirmed to have a high pathogenicity H7N9 strain.

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Bird flu has also been detected at two commercial egg farms in New South Wales’ Hawkesbury region.

The strain of the virus impacting birds in NSW is different to the strains identified in Victoria.

Bird flu, or avian influenza, is a highly contagious viral disease primarily affecting birds and has a high mortality rate.

Eggs and poultry meat products do not pose a risk and are safe to consume.

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