Avian Influenza Detected At Sixth Property

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

Tests have confirmed the high pathogenicity H7N3 strain at a commercial duck farm which is located within the current Restricted Area in the Golden Plains Shire, where movement restrictions are already in place.

All ducks 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.

The duck farm produces commercial eggs and meat. Consumers should not be concerned about eggs and duck meat products. They do not pose a risk and are safe to consume. Victoria has a secure supply chain including the importation of eggs from interstate so the current outbreak has not significantly affected supplies.

Victoria’s Chief Veterinary Officer Graeme Cooke said this detection is not unexpected given the proximity of this property to an existing Infected Premises (IPs).

‘We have established Restricted and Control Areas in proximity to existing IPs which has assisted us in limiting the spread and quickly detecting the sixth IP through comprehensive surveillance activities,” Dr Cooke said.

‘Agriculture Victoria is working with affected producers and the wider industry to maintain business continuity while minimising risk of disease spread.

‘It’s a difficult time for our farmers and we’re making sure mental health support is available and eligible producers can access compensation.’

Existing movement controls remain in place in designated areas near Terang, Meredith and Lethbridge. This 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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