Response To Avian Flu At Hawkesbury Egg Farm


The NSW Government on Wednesday 19 June enacted its emergency biosecurity incident plan to contain the detection of avian influenza in the Hawkesbury district on a poultry egg farm.

NSW consumers should not be concerned about eggs and poultry products from the supermarkets, because this detection does not pose a risk to consumer health and the products are safe to consume. As always people should handle and cook using the standard procedures.

Following testing by the CSIRO national research laboratory it was confirmed that Avian Influenza H7N8 has been detected in a mixed barnyard and free-range poultry farm in the Hawkesbury.

This is a highly contagious and deadly virus and that’s why the NSW Government has acted swiftly and decisively in response to this detection. 8,000 birds died from the flu over the last 48 hours.

We have acted and are rolling out our biosecurity incident plan, developed in line with the national approach for avian influenza.

The following actions have been undertaken over the last 24 hours:

  • Tested samples with CSIRO to detect the bird flu type
  • Locked down the affected egg farm

    Issued a control order to depopulate the farm of its birds and to dispose of the remains in a biosecure manner working with the EPA on disposal

  • Last night we started depopulating the farm, in a humanely manner, following Australian Veterinary guidelines. This process will take up to 5-7 days to depopulate 240,000 birds.
  • We have activated the funding agreement with the Commonwealth government, egg industry, and other states, to release compensation funds for directly impacted producers
  • We have spoken with surrounding chicken industry farms and they have activated their bird flu plans and have locked down their businesses.

Today we will be issuing another control order to legally lock down movement of machinery, materials, animals and transport within a radius of 2 kilometres of the affected egg farm.

The localised lock down order will cover three large commercial poultry farms and impacts up to 355,000 birds that we will monitor for any signs of the virus. There will be no movement of eggs or birds or machinery out of the zone during the control order.

This morning the NSW Chief veterinary Officer, who is leading the incident response, met with key industry organisations to discuss next steps and align how we all work together.

We are acting on this bird flu outbreak and will do everything to work through this challenging time for the egg and chicken meat industry.

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