Housing of Livestock clause — Golden Plains Shire Restricted and Control Areas
All poultry owners within the Golden Plains Shire Restricted and Control Areas – even those with just two or three chickens or birds – are legally required to keep their birds enclosed.
The Chief Veterinary Officer is taking an incremental approach to the lifting of restrictions to be confident that the threat of avian influenza has been eliminated. The Housing of Livestock clause (housing order) in place in the Control Area Golden Plains Shire lapses at 11.59 pm 26 September.
The housing order in the Restricted Area Golden Plains Shire has been extended to Monday 19 October in acknowledgement there has been a cluster of avian influenza infected premises there.
A housing order was issued across all of Golden Plains Shire for 30 days in early August. It was extended until 26 September, before the staged approach to lifting restrictions was announced.
What is a housing order?
A housing order is a requirement for both commercial and backyard poultry owners to house their flock for a set time frame.
The legislation states that any owner or person in charge of poultry must ensure:
- all poultry are kept in a building or enclosure separate from wild birds or wild or domesticated animals
- any dead poultry are not left where they may be accessible to wild birds or wild or domesticated animals
- any dead poultry which had experienced, prior to death, clinical signs consistent with avian influenza must immediately be reported to Agriculture Victoria on 1800 675 888
- feed and water for all poultry must not be accessible to wild birds or wild or domesticated animals
- the entry of wild birds or wild or domesticated animals is prevented into any building or enclosure where poultry are kept
- a disinfectant solution (e.g. soapy water, detergent, bleach or chlorine) appropriate for destroying the avian influenza virus must be made available for use and be used by any person before entering a building or enclosure used for poultry.
This means that you must, where possible, keep birds in a suitable building, like a shed or outbuilding adapted to house them, or a new temporary structure. Place netting over openings to stop wild birds getting in and remove any hazardous substances.
Where housing is not practicable, steps should be taken to separate poultry and their food and drink from wild birds that may be carrying avian influenza (e.g. by using netting).
Why was the housing order issued?
Housing poultry and birds is an effective method of minimising direct contact with wild birds, which can be a vector for avian influenza.
The requirement reduces the likelihood that more poultry and birds will contract avian influenza – however it does not eliminate the risk of spread.
Restricted area and control area maps
Where can I get more information?
More information on avian influenza and the Golden Plains situation is available on this website.