UPDATE: Government surveillance detects and confirms second site of avian influenza in Hawkesbury control zone

22 Jun 2024

MEDIA STATEMENT – from the NSW Minister for Agriculture, Tara Moriarty

Proactive surveillance from the NSW Government’s Biosecurity Incident Response team has confirmed a second case of High Pathogenic Avian Influenza (HPAI) on a poultry farm in the Hawkesbury biosecurity control zone.

The CSIRO’s Australian Centre for Disease Preparedness (ACDP) has confirmed a positive result for HPAI H7N8. The farm is located within the restricted biosecurity zone 1.5km from the original infected farm site detected on June 19.

This is the same virus as the nearby site in Hawkesbury, which is however different to the virus impacting seven farms in Victoria. Importantly, testing has shown that the NSW cases are not H5N1 strain that is causing concern globally.

The Minister of Agriculture Tara Moriarty said that the biosecurity plan is working and because teams responded rapidly, we have been able to quickly survey, test and detect another site, that had been locked down on Wednesday 19 June.

This type of avian influenza is highly infectious in commercial poultry and it was always a possibility that we could detect sites within the control zone. The Government will continue its testing at sites.

The Government’s biosecurity team is working closely with the industry using well-established national response arrangements to manage the outbreak and has advised the industry.

The Minister of Agriculture has acknowledged the support and collaboration of the industry, which increases our ability to manage this situation.

Eggs and poultry meat are safe to eat provided they are handled and cooked according to safe food handling practices.

The depopulation process is being carried out under the supervision of biosecurity officers, consistent with national policy and will affect around 87,000 birds. It is anticipated that it will take up to 7 days to depopulate the impacted property.

People should report any sick or dead birds as a priority. This includes all domestic poultry or wild birds. Simply call the Emergency Animal Disease Hotline on 1800 675 888.

MEDIA: Alastair Walton | Minister Moriarty | 0418 251 229