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Outbreak of fowl plague in Australia



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MEDIA MINISTER FOR PRIMARY INDUSTRY RELEASE by__the ACTING MINISTER FOR PRIMARY INDUSTRY

PI 85/102. 31 May 1985

OUTBREAK OF FOWL PLAGUE

IN VICTORIA

The Acting Minister for Primary Industry, Mr Peter Morris, announced today that an outbreak of Fowl plague (virulent avian influenza) had occurred on a property near Bendigo, Victoria.

He said that laboratory tests carried out at the Veterinary Research Institute at Parkville, Victoria, had confirmed the presence of the disease. The origin of the infection has not yet been established.

This is the second time fowl plague has been recorded in Australia. The previous outbreak in 1976, also in Victoria, involved the slaughter of 58 500 birds on three properties.

The Australian Agricultural Council's Consultative Committee on Exotic Animal Diseases has agreed to the policy of quarantine, slaughter and disinfection in the present outbreak which involves about 100 000 birds.

The policy has been instituted by the Victorian Department of Agriculture and slaughter and disinfection will start as soon as possible.

Mr Morris said fowl plague is included in the Commonwealth/States Cost Sharing Agreement for the eradicaton of exotic diseases and the poultry producer concerned would receive compensation at the full market value of his flock.

Mr Morris requested all poultry owners to be alert for possible outbreaks of the disease and to report without delay any unaccountable illness or mortalities in poultry to the nearest Government Veterinary Officer or to the Chief Veterinary Officer of the State or Territory concerned.

Contacts; Dr Bill Gee, Acting Director, Australian Agricultural Health and Quarantine Service (o62) 71 6411 or Mr Graham Pike, Director of Public Relations, (062) 72 5256 or (062) 31 3899.