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Avian INFLUENZA Update

Highly pathogenic avian influenza has been detected in xx. Statement from lead agency on what we know and what people (the public and industry) need to do.

For information, please visit Animal Health Australia’s Outbreak website, or contact the Emergency Animal Disease Hotline on 1800 675 888. The hotline is a national toll-free telephone number that connects callers to the relevant state or territory animal health authority to report concerns about potential emergency animal diseases (EADs)

Are humans at risk from Avian Influenza?

It is extremely rare for strains of avian influenza virus that cause disease in poultry to also cause disease in humans. None of the strains associated with outbreaks in Australian poultry flocks have been known to cause illness in humans.

However, some strains of H5 and H7 avian influenza viruses found overseas have been able to occasionally infect people, but this is rare, and requires very close physical interaction with infected birds.

The avian influenza virus does not infect humans easily, and it does not transmit efficiently from person to person. The World Health Organisation (WHO) states that the likelihood of sustained human-to-human transmission of these viruses remains low.

Is chicken meat safe from Avian Influenza?


The Australian Department of Health, the World Health Organisation and the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) have confirmed that avian influenza is not a food safety issue and does not affect the food chain in this country.

Avian influenza does not survive cooking temperatures. Furthermore, Australia’s emergency disease response protocols ensure that if there is an avian influenza outbreak in Australian commercial chicken flocks, that the risk of infected chicken meat entering the market is negligible.

What is the ACMF doing about Avian Influenza?

In the case of an outbreak of an emergency disease, the ACMF is a signatory to the EADRA, which is an arrangement where the ACMF as peak industry body, works with local, state and federal governments to implement an appropriate response strategy. The ACMF also works closely with Animal Health Australia, who manage the EADRA, on reducing the risk and impact of disease incursions.

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