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aust at risk

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    The Northern Territory's chief vet Dr Brian Radunz says ;
    "The major risk in the past has been by migratory waterbirds,"

    "There has been about five or six outbreaks since the 1950's which have been mostly in the southern part of Australia which has been put down to the migratory birds.

    "The last one was back in 1997, we haven't had any outbreaks in the NT...we need to be vigilant so if there is any introduction we can pick it up early," says Brian.

    Brian says there are obvious differences between how chickens are treated in Australia and overseas.

    He says in some Asian countries birds live inside the house and often kids look after them, making it very easy for the disease to be spread, but in Australia, poultry workers would have protective clothing and wear face masks to minimise the risk.

    Brian says the current strain of flu has a huge impact on birds, so it would be clearly noticable if it was affecting your backyard chooks.

    "The main signs would be a very rapid death, very bad breathing problems, they could have watery eyes, just basically a sick chook, ruffled feathers, maybe diarrhoea and maybe nervous signs," he says.

    Brian says if poultry producers notice more than one dead chicken, they should ring veterinary officers so they can be examined closely.
 
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