<div>‘Not unexpected’: Fourth poultry farm detects bird flu</div>

‘Not unexpected’: Fourth poultry farm detects bird flu

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Victoria’s bird flu outbreak has widened to a fourth poultry farm, in what authorities said was expected due to ongoing investigations.

Agriculture Victoria has today confirmed a farm near Meredith, west of Melbourne, has tested positive to the avian influenza.

“This detection is not unexpected and is the result of comprehensive and ongoing surveillance activities within the restricted and control areas,” the department said in a statement.

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Chicken bird flu

The latest detection comes just a day after Farm Pride Foods’ site in Lethbridge near Meredith confirmed its own positive test.

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The poultry farms, three near Meredith and one near Terang, all have high pathogenicity of two different strains of the virus. 

Three of those contaminated farms are within the restricted and control areas and one is where movement restrictions were already in place.

“All properties have been placed in quarantine and all poultry will be safely disposed of,” Agriculture Victoria said in its latest update.

“The sites will be cleaned and cleared of the infection.”

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Restricted and control areas near Meredith due to Victoria's bird flu outbreak.

The bird flu is a highly contagious viral disease among the species that has led to major population deaths across the globe.

Australia recorded its first human case of the flu on May 22, when a child caught a severe case of the inflection while in India and reported feeling sick in Victoria.

The child has since recovered and Victoria Health, at the time, soothed community concern by assuring the transmission was rare. 

Poultry farmers, backyard flock and bird owners are urged to report any cases of unexplained bird deaths to the VicEmergency Hotline on 1800 226 226.

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