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Swift Action Eradicates Bird Flu at Egg Farm

21 November 2012

AUSTRALIA - Swift action by industry, New South Wales' Department of Primary Industries and the Livestock Health and Pest Authorities has successfully eradicated an outbreak of H7 avian influenza at an egg production farm near Maitland.

NSW Chief Veterinary Officer, Ian Roth, said the remaining birds on the property have now been culled and testing to date has confirmed that the virus has not spread.

"Samples from some 12 nearby facilities were tested as part of an extensive tracing and surveillance strategy," Dr Roth said.

"The State Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratories at the Elizabeth Macarthur Agricultural Institute have so far indicated that there is no infection.

"While we remain confident we have eradicated this outbreak, follow up testing will be done on these properties and surveillance will continue over the coming weeks.

"The egg production facility will remain quarantined as disinfection and final surveillance is completed."

Australian Egg Corporation Ltd Managing Director, James Kellaway, said NSW DPI's rapid response to the outbreak was critical in protecting other flocks around NSW and Australia.

"Avian Influenza is one of the biggest potential threats to the supply of affordable and nutritious eggs to all Australians and that is why the collaborative efforts of all involved in quarantining this outbreak must be commended," Mr Kellaway said.

"We must however remain vigilant and practice appropriate biosecurity and quarantine procedures with regard to egg farms and hope that we have nipped this outbreak in the bud."

The virus at the Maitland facility was the H7 avian influenza strain – not the highly pathogenic H5N1 strain that has gained worldwide attention.

The NSW Food Authority has confirmed that there are no food safety issues and that poultry and eggs remain safe to eat.

Further Reading

Go to our previous news item on this story by clicking here.

You can visit the Avian Flu page by clicking here.

ThePoultrySite News Desk

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