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450,000, chickens killed due to Bird Flu in Victoria, Australia #Chickens #BirdFlu #Victoria #Australia

Bird Flu

Almost half a million birds have been infected with bird flu after outbreaks at four Victorian farms.

The first infections were detected at a farm in Lethbridge, 95km southwest of Melbourne on July 31, followed by outbreaks at two more Lethbridge farms at the beginning of August.

A fourth poultry farm near Bairnsdale, 280km east of Melbourne, was also infected on August 10.

Now around 450,000 birds are thought to be affected as authorities rush to contain the highly contagious disease.

Health authorities have quarantined the four sites and are working to ‘depopulate’ the affected birds before the end of the week.

Turkeys from the first Lethbridge farm are thought to be responsible for the spread of the virus. All poultry at the site has been destroyed.

Victoria’s Chief Veterinary Officer, Dr Graeme Cooke said two strains of the virus, H7N7 and H5N2 had been detected.

He confirmed that the most viral, the H7N7 strain, was found at two farms in Lethbridge.

‘Highly pathogenic strains, like the H7N7 that was recently detected in Golden Plains Shire, cause severe clinical signs and high death rates among poultry,’ he said.

‘However, we have now also detected a low pathogenic H5N2 strain. This typically causes much reduced clinical signs in comparison.’

The Victorian Department of Health and Human Services confirmed neither virus is a risk to the public unless there is ‘direct and close contact with sick birds’.

There are also no food safety issues because properly cooked poultry meat and eggs are still safe to eat.

Despite the low risk to people, movement controls were put in place within a 2km area of the Bairnsdale farm while the restricted area in Lethbridge remains in place.

Dr Cook said Agriculture Victoria would step up its surveillance activities within the Golden Plains Shire control area to help contain the virus.

‘Agriculture Victoria is actively investigating the connection between the two premises and further surveillance activities may be required,’ he said.

‘These controls prohibit the movement of birds, related equipment and products within and out of the designated Control Area unless a permit for movement has been granted by Agriculture Victoria until further notice.’

Both strains of the virus affect chickens, ducks, geese, turkeys, guinea fowl, quail, pheasants and ostriches.

Many species of wild birds, including waterfowl and seabirds, can also carry the virus without any symptoms.

Dr Cooke said the outbreaks were a reminder to all bird owners, however many birds they have, to always practice good biosecurity.

He also encouraged bird owners not to allow wild birds to mix with domestic birds where possible.

Australia has previously experienced incursions of avian influenza viruses which were successfully eradicated.

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48,000 chickens killed due to avian flu in Dongeradeel, Netherlands

Bird Flu

In Hiaure, part of the municipality of Dongeradeel (Friesland-Netherlands) is at a poultry farm with about 48,000 chicken bird flu (avian influenza). This company has 2 houses with outdoor access. It is likely to be a mild H7 variant. 
Because a low pathogenic (mild) H7 variant can mutate into a highly pathogenic (deadly and highly infectious for chickens) variant, the company must both at low-if a highly pathogenic variant. This is done on the basis of European rules. The cull is carried out by the Dutch food and consumer product safety authority (VWA).
Starting from 9 June 2016 at 4 p.m. There is in a zone of more than 1 km around the holding in Hiaure a transport ban for poultry, eggs, poultry manure and used bedding. Within the area is no other poultry company.
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50,000 birds killed due to avian flu in Emilia-Romagna, Italy

Bird Flu

Another outbreak of H7N7 highly pathogenic avian flu has been found in Italy.
The outbreak occurred in the same region, Emilia-Romagna, as an outbreak reported earlier this month. The farm was within the protection zone set up after the earlier outbreak.
The new outbreak affected a turkey farm holding nearly 50,000 birds. 170 birds died and the rest will have to be culled as part of stamping out measures.
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17,000 chickens killed due to avian flu in North East Italy

Bird Flu

An outbreak of highly pathogenic H7N7 avian influenza (AI) in north-eastern Italy has seen more than 17,000 laying hens culled.
Italian authorities say it is distinct from a low-pathogen variant of the same strain discovered in “ornamental” poultry close to the outbreak earlier this month.
A Defra assessment authored by Prof Ian Brown and Helen Roberts says that, if a wild bird strain of H7N7, the outbreak would be “concerning and novel”.
But it adds that the most likely cause was a low-path strain circulating within the flock that mutated to become high pathogen AI.
“It is possible there is an as yet undetected H7N7 HPAI virus circulating in poultry or captive birds elsewhere which has not caused clinical signs,” the assessment warns.
“In which case this reinforces the difficulties experienced with using passive surveillance only for some of these viruses and the need to enhance such systems through early reporting where signs are not suggestive of AI.”
Defra suggested this would be unclear until a full epidemiological investigation had concluded.
The farm, which is described as “free range or organic”, is located in the Ferrara region of north-eastern Italy.
Mortality at the unit spiked, with some 600 birds dying before the disease was identified according to the OIE (World Organisation for Animal Health).
As part of control measures, a 3km protection zone and 10km surveillance zone were established. The remaining flock, which totalled 17,000 laying hens, was humanely culled.
In addition to this outbreak, the country recently discovered both H5N2 low path and a low-path variant of H7N7, both in similar regions to the high-path outbreak.
Defra said the risk to UK poultry producers was low “but heightened”, and that no live poultry or eggs had recently been imported from Italy.
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10,200 hens killed due to avian flu in Emsland, Germany

Bird Flu

The suspected bird flu had emerged through the self-check results that now. by official sample of the NDS State Office for Consumer Protection and Food Safety (LAVES) have been confirmed. The national reference laboratory of the Friedrich-Loeffler-Institute (FLI) on the island Riems announced that it is the highly pathogenic form of avian influenza (HPAI) is the subtype H7 N7. Experience has shown that it appears only when close contact with diseased or dead birds and their products or excretions of transmitting viruses come from animals to humans. One should avoid direct contact with infected animals so necessarily. Based on the official result of the Emsland district performs all necessary measures to combat the disease according to the European and federal regulations. “In addition, we call on all poultry farmers to review their biosecurity measures and apply them consistently,” said District Administrator Reinhard Winter. The measures include an outbreak of highly pathogenic influenza form inter alia, in the establishment of a Sperrbezirkes three kilometers of radius around the outbreak of operation and an observation area with a radius of ten kilometers. Poultry shall not be moved from these areas out in these areas or screwing in. Within a radius of one kilometer around the affected operating stocks are also animal welfare compliant killed – in this case about 60 animals from three animal facilities. In addition, epidemiological investigation be undertaken to determine the cause and other contact holdings. Shall take effect 30 days after cleansing and disinfection operation no new case, these measures can be lifted. In Lower Saxony the latest outbreaks of highly pathogenic avian influenza type H5N8 December 2014 were observed in the district of Cloppenburg and in the Emsland district. In March and June 2015, there was in the district of Cuxhaven and in the Emsland district outbreaks of low pathogenic form of avian influenza type H7N7. In Germany, regular monitoring tests for avian influenza in poultry flocks and in wild birds will be held. These have so far found no evidence of an influenza occurrence in Lower Saxony. Moreover, there is in poultry flocks special control inspections.
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Millions of birds killed due to avian flu during past 6 months in South Korea

H5N8 Virus Alert

South Korea and Taiwan have destroyed more than 2.7 million poultry in recent weeks and months in efforts to halt highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) outbreaks of the H5N8 and H5N2 varieties, according to reports posted yesterday by the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE).
In addition, South Vietnam has reported another H5N1 avian flu outbreak, and low-pathogenicity avian flu (LPAI) H7N7 recently struck a turkey farm in Germany, according to media and OIE reports.
The latest outbreaks prolong a string of avian flu episodes that have surfaced this winter in Asia, Europe, North America, and Africa. Last week the World Health Organization said the diversity and geographic extent of recent avian flu outbreaks are greater than at any time since the debut of modern surveillance methods.
 South Korea cites 65 H5N8 outbreaks
A South Korean report posted by the OIE yesterday describes 65 H5N8 outbreaks dating all the way from late last September to late January and involving about 2.6 million poultry. The report profiles 22 stand-alone outbreaks and “outbreak clusters” including from 2 to 13 individual incidents.
The affected sites had a total of 2,589,062 birds, including ducks, chickens, geese, and doves. Only 177 cases, all fatal, were reported, but all the rest of the birds were destroyed to stop the virus. Most of the outbreaks were in the southwest and northwest of the country, with a few in the southeast, according to a map in the report.
South Korea had widespread H5N8 outbreaks in January and February of 2014, followed by isolated outbreaks in June and July.
 Taiwan reports H5N2, H5N8 outbreaks
Meanwhile, Taiwan reported that seven recent H5N2 outbreaks and two H5N8 eruptions have forced the destruction of about 180,000 poultry, according to two reports posted by the OIE yesterday. The country has had many H5N2, H5N8, and H5N3 outbreaks this winter.
The report said the seven H5N2 outbreaks involved six farms and one abbatoir and killed 29,960 of 177,328 susceptible chickens and geese, prompting the culling of all the rest. They occurred in the city of Tainan and in Yunlin, Pingtung, and Changhua counties. Authorities said all farms within 3 kilometers of the affected ones would be under surveillance for 90 days, among other precautions.
Taiwan authorities said H5N8 struck a turkey farm in Tainan and a goose farm in Yunlin County, both in the southwest. The virus killed 782 of 1,250 turkeys and 613 of 2,500 geese, prompting the culling of all the rest.
 Findings in Vietnam and Germany
In Vietnam, the H5N1 virus hit a poultry farm in the southern province of Soc Trang, according to a Xinhua report today. Provincial veterinary officials said more than 1,100 birds were culled, among other response measures to arrest the virus. The story didn’t specify what type of poultry was affected.
And in Germany, an LPAI H7N7 virus sickened 2,320 of 23,500 turkeys, killing 100 of them, on a farm in the northwestern state of Lower Saxony, according to an OIE report posted yesterday. All the rest of the turkeys were destroyed.
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