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Mass Poultry Euthanasia

Elizabeth Braddon, NSW DPI

Posted Flock & Herd January 2023


The recent increase in outbreaks of High Pathogenicity Avian Influenza (HPAI) virus in the northern hemisphere is increasing the level of risk for an outbreak in Australia. The last outbreak in Victoria in 2020 resulted in the largest outbreak Australia has seen with seven affected properties. In addition, the Victorian outbreak also had a mix of HPAI and LPAI strains circulating together.


NSW DPI is currently getting ready to respond to an outbreak of Avian Influenza (H5 or H7 strains) by pulling together the existing response plans and operational materials to support the set up of a State response. In NSW, the AI response plan is based on "Stamping Out" disease. This means that there is on-farm euthanasia of birds on affected farms.

Two methods to euthanise birds are non-penetrating captive bolts (TED guns) and the use of CO2 for mass euthanasia. As part of EAD preparedness, 10 TED captive bolt guns have been provided to LLS as a method for poultry euthanasia but formal training has not been done.

Similarly, the use of CO2 chamber systems has been used for Salmonella enteritidis affected farms but widespread awareness and knowledge of DVs and LLS staff on the use of this system has not occurred.


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