Friday, January 27, 2012

Bird flu discovered at TWO Victorian duck farms north of Melbourne, Australia

AT least 10,000 ducks will have to be destroyed to contain an outbreak of bird flu at two Victorian farms.

The virus found in birds on the two properties is a low pathogenic avian influenza (LPAI) and not the deadlier form of the virus that spread through Asia, threatening humans and leading to a mass cull of poultry.

Dr Andrew Cameron, the state's chief veterinary officer, says there is no risk to the community, but authorities had to act quickly to quarantine the two properties run by a company north of Melbourne to remove any chance the virus could spread.

"This is all about making sure that the virus doesn't one day in the future evolve and mutate into a more serious form," he said.

The source of the latest outbreak has not been confirmed, but officials believe the virus could have been introduced from wild waterfowl known to harbour influenza viruses.

The Department of Primary Industries will work with the farm owner to dispose of all the ducks and disinfect the farms, he said. Read More