Fourth Victorian poultry farm detects bird flu

6 June, 2024

Victoria’s bird flu outbreak has now spread to a fourth poultry farm, a development anticipated by authorities amid ongoing investigations.

Agriculture Victoria confirmed today that a farm near Meredith, west of Melbourne, tested positive for avian influenza.

“This detection is not unexpected and is the result of comprehensive and ongoing surveillance activities within the restricted and control areas,” the department stated.

The latest case was detected just a day after Farm Pride Foods’ site in Lethbridge, near Meredith, also confirmed a positive test. The affected farms include three near Meredith and one near Terang, all of which have high pathogenicity strains of the virus.

Three of these farms are within the restricted and control areas, while the fourth is in a zone already under movement restrictions.

“All properties have been placed in quarantine and all poultry will be safely disposed of,” Agriculture Victoria noted in its update. “The sites will be cleaned and cleared of the infection.”

Bird flu is a highly contagious viral disease that has caused significant poultry deaths worldwide. Australia recorded its first human case of the virus on May 22 when a child, infected in India, reported feeling ill in Victoria. The child has since recovered, and Victoria Health reassured the public that human transmission of the virus is rare.

Poultry farmers, as well as backyard flock and bird owners, are urged to report any cases of unexplained bird deaths to the Vic Emergency Hotline at 1800 226 226.


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