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Bird Flu Outbreak Continues in Victoria: Second Case Detected


Victoria has reported a second case of bird flu, with a direct link to the initial outbreak in Meredith, signalling an ongoing saga of avian influenza outbreaks in the state. State officials confirmed that another poultry farm, located in the Terang region southwest of Ballarat, has been affected by the H7N3 strain, which is connected to the first case identified in Meredith earlier.

In response to the outbreak, approximately 400,000 chickens were culled to contain the spread of the virus. The detection of the second case has prompted the implementation of Control Orders to regulate the movement of poultry, poultry products, vehicles, and equipment within the affected areas, including a restricted zone around the infected farms.

The restricted area encompasses a 5km radius around the Meredith farm with a 20km buffer zone, and a 1.5km restricted zone around the Terang farm with a 15km buffer zone. Agriculture Victoria has reassured consumers that poultry products from supermarkets are safe for consumption and do not pose a risk.

Efforts are underway to trace contacts and investigate the source and spread of the infection. Meanwhile, in Western Australia, a less dangerous strain of bird flu was detected, prompting pest control measures on the affected property to manage the movement of animals and products.

The WA Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development confirmed that the strain detected is not the more severe H5 high pathogenicity avian influenza seen in other countries, nor the H7 strain currently managed in Victoria. Poultry owners are advised to follow biosecurity measures to minimize contact with wild birds and reduce the risk of introducing the virus.

Officials have clarified that the cases in Victoria and WA are unrelated, emphasizing the importance of vigilance among poultry keepers to prevent further outbreaks and ensure the health and safety of birds and the community.

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