Third farm infected with bird flu

There are now three confirmed cases of bird flu in Victoria. Picture: istock.
There are now three confirmed cases of bird flu in Victoria. Picture: istock.

Victorian officials have uncovered a third property to be hit with the ongoing bird flu, with measures to stem the spread continuing to be in place.

The third confirmed property is the second one within the Meredith area, between Ballarat and Geelong.

Agriculture Victoria states that this latest property is located within the 5km restricted area in the Golden Plains Shire. It is only about 10 minutes away from the first declared infected property.

The first bird flu case was detected on an egg farm in Meredith. Picture: Agriculture Victoria.
The first bird flu case was detected on an egg farm in Meredith. Picture: Agriculture Victoria.
The second case was detected on a farm in Terang. Picture: Agriculture Victoria
The second case was detected on a farm in Terang. Picture: Agriculture Victoria

Tests have confirmed it is the same H7N3 strain of avian influenza as the first infected property in the same region.

This latest outbreak is the second that producer Farm Pride Foods has faced in the area in the last four years.

Back in 2020, the producer faced two bird flu outbreaks on its Lethbridge properties that led to the culling of 380,000 hens.

The second infected property near Terang has confirmed to have the H7N9 strain.

Officials have placed this third property into quarantine, with all poultry expected to be disposed of in order to clean and clear the site of the infection.

Along with the restricted area zones in place, officials have issued a “housing requirement for all birds within these areas”.

There are now three confirmed cases of bird flu in Victoria. Picture: istock.
There are now three confirmed cases of bird flu in Victoria. Picture: istock.

This means that all poultry farmers, backyard flock and bird owners are required to house or keep their birds in enclosed cages or sheds as much as possible.

Contact tracing continues as authorities try to find the source of the infection in order to stop its spread.

Agriculture Victoria assures consumers that they are safe to eat poultry products from supermarkets as “they do not pose a risk and are safe to consume”.

What is avian influenza?

Avian influenza, better known as bird flu, is a highly contagious viral infection in birds.

Some of the serious strains can cause severe symptoms and even death in poultry.

There are mild strains of the flu that result in few or no symptoms and can go undetected, while other mild strains can evolve into severe strains.