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Avian Influenza Outbreak 2013

AVIAN INFLUENZA OUTBREAK IN YOUNG – REPORT TO RAS POULTRY COMMITTEE

 Councillor Adrian Saines gave the following report to the recent meeting of the poultry committee. EPA members may find it helpful.

 “Just a brief update of the bird flu outbreak at Young that you have probably been made aware of through the media.

 Fortunately it is type H7 which is not contagious to humans, unlike the H5N1 virus. There have been outbreaks in other areas such as a commercial egg property at Maitland and the commercial duck farm in Victoria last year, and at a hobby farm in Western Australia that included ducks early this year. 

 As control to eradicate the disease requires slaughter of the flock, some 400,000 layers were euthanised this week and buried on the property with 2.5 metres of soil cover. Some 3 million (count to last Friday) eggs were included to be destroyed. A 10 kilometre restriction zone has been enforced around the farm.

 Destruction of the birds is required as the disease being endemic in the flock would see most of the birds die prior to the availability of sufficient quantities of vaccine (and its time for protection).

 The farm also had to cease a sizeable feed manufacturing business run from the property.

 The farm had recently spent a huge amount of money investing in a free range system of egg production, undoubtedly to suit the future market requirements of Woolworths who are only going to stock eggs from free range hens, from I believe 2015, following the encouragement from animal cruelty activist Jamie Oliver.

 It is believed that wild ducks may have brought the disease onto the free range area of the.farm. Immediate cost to the owners has been estimated at over $4 million. I believe that a compensation scheme for up to 80% is available from the government.

 The farm is situated at Bendick Murrell, some 18 miles north of Young on the Cowra Road.

 It was also reported yesterday that a second farm related to the infected property has also been identified as having the disease. Whilst not yet identified, the owners do have a pullet rearing property 10 miles east of Young towards Harden which I suspect may be the property involved. The same eradication protocols will be applied to this farm as with the original outbreak.

 The cessation of production from the two farms will create a significant shortfall in the district’s economy apart from the loss of work for the employees directly involved.

 Further information can be found on the internet by typing in the subject at the top. This includes comments from Bede Bourke form the Egg Corporation who has been most supportive to the Poultry Committee in the development of the schools’ egg laying competition.”

 Adrian Saines”

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wallace wallace,
24 Oct 2013, 21:09
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