Infection in domestic birds
LPAI viruses are carried by wild birds in Australia, such as ducks. Poultry can become infected if their food or water supplies are contaminated with droppings or secretions from infected wild birds, or sometimes by contact with these birds in shared environments. This is the most likely way poultry could become infected in Australia.
New strains of avian influenza could arrive in Australia with infected migratory birds. There are concerns HPAI clade 18.104.22.168b could be introduced by infected migratory birds. The main period of risk in Australia is from August to November each year, when migratory birds return from the northern hemisphere.
New strains of avian influenza virus could also be introduced by contaminated poultry products, objects or people. Australia has biosecurity measures in place to prevent contaminated items from entering the country.
Protect your birds
These simple steps will help protect your poultry and aviary birds:
- Don’t allow wild birds access to your birds’ food or water.
- Prevent contact between domestic and wild birds with fencing or netting.
- Regularly clean bird housing and equipment, and don’t share with other bird owners.
- Quarantine new poultry and birds for 2 weeks before introducing them to the flock. Look for any signs of disease appearing during this time.
Read more about the eight simple steps helping prevent disease in your birds.
Always thoroughly wash your hands with soap before and after handling birds. Clean your footwear and wash clothing regularly and avoid using the same clothing and footwear around your own birds if you have visited other flocks or events such as shows.
Treatment and vaccination options
Birds that become sick with HPAI often die from the disease. Treatment options are limited and preventative vaccination is not available in Australia.
Report suspect cases of avian influenza
Talk to your local vet or call the Emergency Animal Disease Hotline on
1800 675 888. This will put you in touch with your state or territory agriculture department.
Avian influenza is a notifiable disease which means there is a legal obligation to report suspected outbreaks.