Protecting against incursions
A National Avian Influenza Wild Bird Surveillance program, is managed by Wildlife Health Australia. Surveillance includes testing of samples collected from apparently healthy wild birds and from unexplained sick or dead wildlife, including wild birds and mammals.
Since the program started in 2006, thousands of Australian wild bird samples have been screened. This helps monitor avian influenza and provide virus genetic information on newly detected strains. No HPAI viruses have been detected but LPAI viruses are regularly detected.
The Northern Australia Quarantine Strategy program works with local communities and Indigenous ranger groups in northern Australia to undertake surveillance and raise awareness of avian influenza in northern Australia.
Poultry producers have monitoring systems that can quickly detect disease in their flocks, which leads to veterinary investigations.
Australia’s biosecurity measures
Our strict biosecurity measures protect against the disease crossing our border in imported birds or poultry products. We use x-ray, inspections and detector dogs at airports, seaports and mail centres to screen incoming goods and passenger luggage.
When entering Australia, you must declare any poultry meat and products, including raw or cooked chicken or duck, fresh or preserved eggs or egg products, feathers, items containing feathers, poultry vaccines, and any other animal products, plant material and food.
Failure to declare these products could result in significant financial penalties.
There is no way to prevent new strains of avian influenza entering Australia through migratory movements of wild birds.
Disease detection in Australia
Australia has a nationally agreed response plan and cost-sharing arrangements in place if there is an outbreak of avian influenza.
The Avian Influenza AUSVETPLAN sets out the nationally agreed approach to avian influenza outbreaks in Australia. More information about emergency animal disease response arrangements is available from Animal Health Australia.
Guidance on management of disease in wildlife is available from Wildlife Health Australia, including the National Guidelines for Management of Disease in Free-ranging Australian Wildlife, and the Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (HPAI) and Wild Animals in Australia: A Risk Mitigation Toolbox For Wildlife Managers to assist in assessing and mitigating risks of HPAI at the local level.