Bird flu detected at commercial egg farm in Sydney's Hawkesbury

bird flu detected at commercial egg farm in sydney's hawkesbury

Farmers are urging Agriculture Victoria to be more proactive in stopping the spread of bird flu across poultry farms, after a new buying limit on eggs by Coles fuelled fears of an egg shortage.

Bird flu has been detected at a commercial egg farm in Sydney's Hawkesbury region.

The property has been put into an immediate biosecurity lockdown after the disease was confirmed today, the NSW Department of Primary Industries (DPI) has said.

Bird flu, or avian influenza, is a highly contagious viral disease primarily affecting birds and has a high mortality rate.

The presence of high pathogenicity avian influenza (HPAI) strain has been confirmed at the Hawkesbury property, which differs from both the H7N3 and H7N9 strains spreading in Victoria and the H5N1 strain which is causing global concern.

"HPAI has been eradicated from NSW three times before, the most recent being in Young in 2013," the NSW DPI said.

The birds, other animals and equipment on the commercial farm have been placed into lockdown to prevent further spread.

A one to two-kilometre area around the farm is expected to come under biosecurity controls later today as a precaution.

Victoria has been grappling with its own bird flu outbreak in recent months, with has so far spread to seven farms in the state, with one million birds expected to be euthanised to mitigate the outbreak.

Coles introduced a purchase limit on eggs in every state and territory except WA amid fears of a shortage due to the culls.

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