As the fifth Farm is Infected with Avian Flu, Tens of Thousands of Hens to be Culled

Tens of thousands of chickens will be destroyed by a Victorian egg producer after avian influenza was found at five farms, increasing the total number affected. Following the closure of a fifth Victorian poultry farm due to the diagnosis of avian influenza, tens of thousands of birds will be destroyed.

Agriculture Victoria said on Friday that tests had confirmed the highly pathogenic H7N3 strain of avian flu had been found on Farm Pride’s Lethbridge farm in the southwest of the state.

It is the second farm owned by the corporation that has tested positive for bird flu. With over 40,000 birds housed there, it represents approximately 4% of the total production capacity.In a financial update, Farm Price stated, “The company will seek compensation from the Emergency Animal Disease Compensation Scheme arising from the disposal of these birds.”

The farm is located in an area that includes properties at Meredith and Lethbridge and where transportation has already been restricted. About 80,000 chickens, or 8% of Farm Pride’s total production capacity, were killed after it was discovered on Tuesday that another farm near Lethbridge, which is also run by the corporation, had the virus.

On May 22, following tests for two distinct strains, two farms in Meredith and Terang run by Avgo and Surf Coast Eggs Farms put around 500,000 chickens to death. On Wednesday, it was determined that a fourth farm in the Meredith and Lethbridge region had avian influenza.

There is a buffer zone around the control area, which is delimited to the east by Bacchus Marsh Road and to the west by Colac-Ballarat Road.

Graeme Cooke, Victoria’s chief veterinary officer, stated that the most recent discovery was not shocking. “It’s why our reasonable and risk-based restricted and control areas are in place and shows that Agriculture Victoria’s comprehensive and ongoing surveillance activities are working well to date,” he stated.

According to Dr. Cooke, Agriculture Victoria will keep collaborating with the impacted farmers and the larger sector to promote business continuity while reducing the possibility of the disease spreading. Store-bought eggs and chicken products are safe to eat and do not provide any health risks.