Bird flu has been detected in chickens at a residential property in the ACT, the second site where the virus has been found in the territory.

Environment, Parks and Land Management Minister Rebecca Vassarotti said the home is within the quarantine area set up after the virus was first detected at a commercial farm on June 27.

“We received confirmation yesterday of a second detection for avian influenza (H7N8). This second detection is in backyard chickens at a residential property within the quarantine area,” Vassarotti said.

Chicken bird flu
File photo: bird flu has been detected in chickens at a residential property in the ACT. (Getty Images/iStockphoto)

“I would like to acknowledge and thank the residents of this property who have acted swiftly to take action to prevent the potential spread of this virus amongst the broader bird population.

“While disappointing to have a second case, it is not unexpected. Like jurisdictions across the country, this is unfortunately the reality of such a highly transmittable virus.”

The original case in the ACT was linked to the outbreak of the virus in New South Wales, where two farms in Sydney’s Hawkesbury region were found to have been infected last month.

Bird flu is highly transmittable between birds but doesn’t spread easily to humans, although it has a high mortality rate when people do catch it. (CNN)

Bird flu has also been found at eight poultry farms in Victoria, although different strains to those found in NSW and the ACT.

Bird flu is highly transmittable between birds but doesn’t spread easily to humans, although it has a high mortality rate when people do catch it.

Vassarotti said it was important for bird owners in the ACT’s quarantine area to be on the lookout for signs of the disease.

”Avian influenza is very easily transmitted by moving sick birds from property to property, as well as from contaminated boots, equipment and vehicles if proper biosecurity measures aren’t in place,” she said.

“Wild birds may also be carriers of the virus.

“Bird owners living within the quarantine area should familiarise themselves with the restrictions in place to keep their birds safe.

“Practical steps include avoiding contact between your birds and wild birds, washing your hands after touching your birds, keeping a blanket or cover over your chicken coup, keeping your chicken coup or aviary clean, and removing bird feed and other items that may entice wild birds to your yard…

“Biosecurity is everyone’s responsibility. By taking small actions, we can help protect both our pet birds and native wildlife.”

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