NSW Government rolls out biosecurity plan following bird flu outbreak

NSW Government rolls out biosecurity plan following bird flu outbreak
Image: Wikimedia Commons



The NSW Government is rolling out and enacting an emergency biosecurity plan following the avian influenza outbreak on Hawkesbury farm. 

In just a few days, 8,000 birds have died from the highly contagious virus. The outbreak of Avian Influenza H7N8 in Hawkesbury was detected in a free-range poultry farm and a mixed barnyard, confirmed by the CSIRO national research laboratory.

But the government has assured consumers that eggs and poultry products are still safe to consume. 

NSW Minister for Agriculture Tara Moriarty said, “​​NSW consumers should not be concerned about eggs and poultry products from the supermarkets, because this detection does not pose a risk to consumer health and the products are safe to consume.” 

“As always people should handle and cook using the standard procedures.”

Actions taken as part of the biosecurity incident plan have included the testing of samples with CSIRO to detect the type of bird flu present. The affected egg farm was locked down as a result, and a control order was issued to depopulate the farm of its birds, working with the EPA on disposing of the remains in a biosecure manner.

Following Australian Veterinary guidelines, the farm is being depopulated in a humane manner, with the process expected to take 5-7 days to depopulate a total of 240,000 birds.

Compensation funds for directly impacted procedures are set to be released through a funding agreement with the Commonwealth government, egg industry and other states. Other local chicken industry farms have locked down their businesses and put their bird flu plans into place.

Now, another legal lock down movement of machinery, materials, animals and transport has been issued for a two kilometre radius of the affected egg farm.

Three commercial poultry farms will be covered by the localised lock down order, impacting up to 355,000 birds, which will be monitored for any signs of the virus.

“We are acting on this bird flu outbreak and will do everything to work through this challenging time for the egg and chicken meat industry. We have their backs,” said Moriarty. 


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