Avian influenza information for transporters
Avian influenza (AI) has been confirmed at four poultry farms near Lethbridge, one near Bairnsdale and one emu farm near Kerang. AI is a highly infectious disease affecting many bird species including pet and farmed chickens and can often result in significant deaths on poultry farms. Movement controls are now in place to prevent the spread of AI.
What are the movement controls?
Movement controls have been put in place in the Golden Plains Shire, near Bairnsdale and near Kerang, and affected properties have been quarantined. These controls prohibit, until further notice, the movement of birds, equipment and products into, out of or within the designated Restricted and Control Areas (see maps below), except under a permit issued by Agriculture Victoria.
What are Restricted and Control Area Orders?
The Restricted and Control Area Orders are legislative instruments used to prevent, control or eradicate the spread of a livestock exotic disease, in this case avian influenza.
The Orders may declare any land, premises, place or area to be a Restricted and Control Areas, specifying any prohibitions, restrictions or requirements to operate within those areas.
What is included in the Restricted Area and Control Area Orders?
The livestock affected by the Orders are poultry, which are any of the following reared in captivity: chicken, turkey, guinea fowl, duck, goose, quail, pigeon, pheasant, partridge, emu or ostrich.
Livestock products affected by the Orders are livestock products of affected livestock and includes:
- the carcass or the portion of a carcass of affected livestock,
- the meat, blood, feathers, skin, feet or offal of affected livestock,
- the fat, or other food or foodstuffs derived from affected livestock,
- the secretions, excretions, manure, effluent and other wastes (including composted material containing livestock products) of affected livestock,
- eggs and egg product of affected livestock, including the contents of an egg in any form including egg pulp, dried egg, liquid egg white and liquid egg yolk.
Fittings affected by this Order are:
- any facilities or materials used for housing, restraining or confining affected livestock, and
- equipment, clothing, or other articles which have been brought into contact with affected livestock, and
- equipment and other articles which are normally used in connection with livestock and which have been brought into contact with any affected livestock product, and
- equipment or other articles which are used in the processing or manufacture of livestock products and which have been brought into contact with any affected livestock product.
Vehicles affected by this Order are any vehicle that has been in contact with any affected livestock or affected livestock product.
What about transport of poultry and poultry products?
A person must not cause or permit the movement of poultry into, out of, or within the Restricted and Control Areas.
A person must not cause or permit the movement of affected poultry product into, out of, or within the Restricted and Control Areas.
Exemptions apply for:
- a person who holds a permit issued by an inspector that authorises the movement; or
- meat, eggs or offal obtained from a retail outlet and intended for human consumption and not fed to livestock.
If permitted to move a vehicle, the operator of an affected vehicle on a premises in the Restricted and Control Areas must ensure that the vehicle is cleaned and disinfected#, using a suitable disinfectant in accordance with manufacturer’s instructions, before leaving the premises unless permitted otherwise.
# Cleaned and disinfected means the washing down of the livestock crate, flooring, trailer and wheels to remove all organic matter, faecal material and urine, followed by the spray application of a disinfectant solution appropriate for avian influenza virus, to the crate, flooring, wheels, wheel arches and tyres.
What about transport of stock feed?
Delivery of feed into the Restricted and Control Areas does not require a permit but there are legally required biosecurity protocols for undertaking deliveries.
An operator of a feed truck who delivers stock feed to premises in the Restricted and Control Areas must:
- not drive the feed truck on tracks used by poultry, and
- ensure all wheels of the feed trucks are cleaned and disinfected* on entry to and exit from the premises, and
- ensure they maintain personal biosecurity procedures, including cleaning and disinfecting of boots on entry to and exit from the premises, and does not have contact with any poultry.
* Cleaned and disinfected means the washing of wheels and tyres and the spray application of a disinfectant solution appropriate for avian influenza virus, to the wheels, wheel arches and tyres.
Disinfectants for avian influenza virus
Avian influenza virus is a Category A lipid enveloped virus, and it is stable over a pH range of 5.0–8.2.
The following options will be effective in destroying the AI virus on surfaces:
- soapy water or detergent (will strip the fatty envelope and kill the virus)
- acid and alkaline chemicals
- disinfectants, including bleach, chlorine and citric acid.
Whichever product you choose to use must be used as directed by the manufacturer.
Remember that chemicals may be toxic to poultry (and other animals), even in very small doses. Care should be taken to determine the safety of disinfectants prior to using them near poultry, and they should always be stored well away from poultry houses. If using a footbath at the entrance of a poultry enclosure, place it outside the enclosure, in an area where other animals (including pets) cannot access and drink from it.
Decontamination of vehicles, animal housing and equipment
If vehicles, livestock trucks and trailers, animal yards and equipment need to be decontaminated, the following two-step cleaning and disinfection process should also be used.
Step 1: Remove all visible organic matter (e.g. faeces, urine, dirt, mud) by washing the surface with water under pressure. When using a cleaning agent/detergent, follow the manufacturer’s instructions, in particular the right concentration of cleaning agent/detergent for the amount of soiling/organic matter present. Also, follow personal protective equipment (PPE) recommendations of the manufacturer.
Step 2: Apply an effective disinfectant, as directed by the manufacturer. It is wise to ensure that the disinfectant being used will not damage the product being cleaned (e.g. is not corrosive at the dilution rate being used). Follow all safety recommendations of the manufacturer.
How do I apply for a permit?
For movement permits of poultry, poultry products and vehicles involved in poultry production within the Restricted and Control Areas, please apply online. Please see the relevant map and contact the Customer Contact Centre on (03) 4334 2715 (Monday – Friday 9 am – 5 pm) for advice on a permit. Permits will be processed business hours Monday to Friday.