National Management Group Communiqué

Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza - 7 August 2020

Government and industry are continuing to work with urgency to control the H7N7 Avian Influenza outbreak in Victoria following a detection of the disease at a second farm near Geelong.

Both infected properties remain in quarantine and movement restrictions are in place. A 5km restricted area is being enforced around each of the infected properties.

The initial infected property has been depopulated and decontamination activities are in progress. Planning is underway for the depopulation of the second infected property. Surveillance, tracing and testing are also underway to determine if the H7N7 virus has spread further.

This response is being conducted by the Victorian Government in accordance with nationally agreed biosecurity response plans and procedures.

The National Management Group met on 7 August 2020 and agreed to continue national cost sharing arrangements for the eradication program under the Emergency Animal Disease Response Agreement.

There are no food safety issues identified; properly cooked chicken meat and eggs remain safe to eat.

This is not the highly pathogenic influenza H5N1 strain that has gained worldwide attention — nor is it closely related to that strain. It is in no way related to the current Covid-19 pandemic.

If you notice a number of sick or dead birds, contact the Emergency Animal Disease Watch Hotline on 1800 675 888. If you discover large numbers of sick or dead wild birds, you also need to report this to the hotline so it can be investigated.