Type Status Location Last Updated
This message is being issued for Golden Plains Shire.
  • An outbreak of avian influenza has been detected near Lethbridge.  
  • This warning is relevant to all bird owners including poultry producers, backyard flock owners, bird owners and pet owners within Golden Plains Shire. 
  • Controls are in place that restrict the movement of birds, equipment and products within and out of the Restricted Area and Control Area unless a permit has been issued by Agriculture Victoria.
  • From 11.59 pm on Monday 19 October 2020 the poultry housing order in the Restricted Area of the Golden Plains Shire will end and Control Area boundaries will reduce. 
  • Restricted Area boundaries remain the same.
Things you should know about avian influenza:
  • Avian influenza is a highly contagious disease that infects chickens, ducks, geese, turkeys, guinea fowl, quail, pheasants,emus and ostriches. Many species of wild birds, including waterfowl and seabirds can also carry the virus.  
  • Avian influenza can be spread between locations by movement of eggs, birds, people, vehicles and equipment between farms, and by clothing, footwear, aerosols, water, feed, litter, wild birds, biting insects and vermin.  
  • There are no food safety issues identified; properly cooked chicken meat and eggs are safe to eat.
What you should do if you own birds:
  • If you have domestic birds or backyard poultry flocks in the Restricted and Control Areas you need to ensure that your birds, their food and water are kept away from wild birds. 
  • Follow best biosecurity practices including keeping poultry sheds, yards, aviaries and equipment clean, limit visitors to your birds, ensure your footwear is clean and practice good hygiene at all times.
  • Monitor your birds closely. Report any sick birds (including wild birds), deaths, or drops in egg production to the Emergency Animal Disease Watch Hotline on 1800 675 888. 
  • Check the Agriculture Victoria website or phone (03) 4334 2715 (Monday - Friday 9am - 5pm, Saturday - Sunday 10am - 3pm) for details on movement controls and permits.

Signs of the disease may include: 
  • Sudden death. 
  • Birds with difficulties breathing, such as coughing, sneezing, or rasping. 
  • Swelling of the head, purple discolouration of the comb and wattles. 
  • Rapid drop in eating, drinking and egg production. 
  • Ruffled feathers, dopiness, closed eyes. 
  • Diarrhea.      

To help prevent the spread of disease to your birds you should: 
  • Keep drinking water and feed away from wild birds, pets and vermin
  • Ensure birds’ feed and water is clean from droppings or animal waste 
  • Keep domestic birds away from potentially contaminated water sources such as streams, dams, ponds 
  • Feed your birds good quality feed from a reputable feed-mill 
  • Regularly clean your chicken coop, including feeders, drinkers and equipment
  • Frequently replace nesting materials
  • Avoid unnecessary visitor contact with your birds. 
  • Do not introduce any new birds until the outbreak is declared over. 
  • Practice good hygiene at all times.

Protecting your health: 
  • If you have had contact with birds on an affected property and you are experiencing cold or flu symptoms, call your doctor or the Department of Health and Human Services on 1300 651 160 for medical advice.

What Agriculture Victoria is doing: 
  • Movement controls are in place and all known infected properties have been quarantined.  
  • These controls prohibit the movement of birds, equipment and products within and out of the Restricted Area and Control Area until further notice. 
  • To stop the spread of avian influenza, birds on affected properties are being depopulated. 
  • Surveillance on poultry and wild birds is ongoing as is testing for avian influenza to contain and stop the spread of the disease. 
This message was issued by the Chief Veterinary Officer of Victoria.

The next update is expected by 21/02/2021 05:00 pm or as the situation changes.

Use multiple sources to stay informed: 

The following services can help you, or someone you know, access information during an emergency. 
  • To access this information in other languages call the Translating and Interpreting Service on 131 450 (freecall) and ask them to call VicEmergency Hotline.   
  • If you are deaf, hard of hearing, or have a speech/communication impairment contact National Relay Service on 1800 555 677 and ask them to call the VicEmergency Hotline.