Steps Taken To Contain Avian Influenza In Victoria

Australian Eggs is aware of media reports of the detection of avian influenza (AI) on an egg farm in Victoria. Testing is ongoing to determine the type of AI but it does not appear to be the H5N1 strain that has been the subject of recent outbreaks in other countries.

Agriculture Victoria has been investigating the incident and the farm has been quarantined with movement controls introduced to prevent further spread.

Avian influenza, otherwise known as ‘bird flu’ or ‘AI’, is a type of influenza virus that can cause high numbers of deaths in birds and can be spread through wild bird populations. In response to recent AI outbreaks overseas, Australian poultry industries and governments have been preparing for an outbreak for some time.

“With avian influenza present in wild birds in Australia, these incidents happen periodically and can have a devastating impact on the farms involved”, Australian Eggs Managing Director, Rowan McMonnies said.

“There are processes in place for industry and government to work together ensure the virus does not spread further and can be eradicated. This includes placing biosecurity protocols on nearby properties to assist with containment.”

“Only a small part of the industry has been impacted and Australian consumers should take comfort that eggs remain safe to eat and egg farmers will be working hard to ensure there are eggs on shelves” added McMonnies.

Agriculture Victoria have also published guidance that while cases among humans in direct contact with animals infected with highly pathogenic avian influenza viruses are possible, the current risk to the public remains low.

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