Bird flu chickens destroyed

LAYER hens from an egg farm near Maitland have been destroyed following an outbreak of bird flu last week, with quarantine observation still under way.

A Department of Primary Industries spokesman said yesterday the 50,000 birds from the property were destroyed as a control measure.

The Newcastle Herald reported last week that the Department of Primary Industries quarantined the farm and was trying to determine whether the bird flu virus had spread.

Testing revealed the virus was not the pathogenic H5N1 avian influenza strain.

A department statement on Friday indicated there were no signs the outbreak had spread.

NSW Food Authority chief scientist Lisa Szabo confirmed there were no safety issues with eggs and poultry.

‘‘There is no evidence that eating food from farms that have been affected by avian influenza have ever caused human illness," Dr Szabo said.

The Department of Primary Industries is continuing its observation of the property.

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