NSW officials detect first state cases of deadly bird flu strain H7N8 at a Hawkesbury egg farm

Max Corstorphan
The Nightly
A New South Wales farm is the latest to be struck down by the deadly strain of bird flu, sparking lockdowns a depopulation. (EPA PHOTO)
A New South Wales farm is the latest to be struck down by the deadly strain of bird flu, sparking lockdowns a depopulation. (EPA PHOTO) Credit: EPA

An emergency biosecurity incident plan has been enacted following the detection of avian influenza at a poultry egg farm in New South Wales.

The strain identified is the highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) H7N8, confirmed by the CSIRO’s Australian Centre for Disease Preparedness.

The HPAI H7N8 strain detected is separate from the current Victorian outbreak and is believed to have possibly originated from wild birds.

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Minister for Agriculture, Tara Moriarty confirmed the detection was at a farm in the Hawkesbury district.

Known for its rapid spread and high mortality rate among poultry, the outbreak has prompted action, including a lockdown of the affected farm to contain the disease.

The NSW response will include a specific biosecurity directive that has quarantined the farm, restricting the movement of equipment and animals to prevent further spread.

A formal control order will shortly be declared, extending biosecurity measures to a radius of 1-2 kilometres around the farm.

Urgent actions, such as depopulating the poultry and decontaminating the farm, will follow this legal instrument.

A biosecurity incident management team is now operational, coordinating with committees and groups to manage the immediate response plans.

In a statement, Ms Moriarty’s office said: “This detection does not pose a risk to consumer health and the products are safe to consume, if they are handled and cooked as per standard food handling practices.”

”The Government will work closely with industry to reduce the risk of spread and minimise any impact on egg supply.”

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