THE Department of Primary Industries has quarantined a layer hen facility in the Lower Hunter region following a suspect case of Avian Influenza.
"The suspected virus is definitely not the highly pathogenic H5N1 strain that has gained worldwide attention - nor is it closely related to that strain," NSW chief veterinary officer Ian Roth said.
"Australia has previously had a small number of outbreaks of Avian Influenza viruses which were all quickly and successfully eradicated.
"The property has been placed under quarantine and initial tracing and surveillance is being undertaken to confirm that the virus hasn't spread. We currently have no evidence to suggest it has.
"DPI's First Response Team has been dispatched to monitor the locked-down property."
Dr Roth said the peak egg industry body Australian Egg Corporation has been advised and the property owners are co-operating with authorities.
"We are still waiting on final confirmation from CSIRO's Australian Animal Health Laboratory which is expected later this afternoon," Dr Roth said.
Dr Roth said people who notice sick or dead birds should contact their local veterinarian or call the Emergency Animal Disease Watch Hotline 1800 675 888.
For further information on avian influenza visit www.dpi.nsw.gov.au
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