In Victoria two turkeys tested positive for a second strain of bird flu.
Agriculture Victoria said the turkeys were at a property in Lethbridge, and another in Bairnsdale, within the current restricted area.
The farm at Lethbridge was under movement restrictions and daily monitoring after two free-range egg farms in the Golden Plains Shire in the past fortnight have reported cases of H7N7 avian influenza.
The most recent cases tested positive to low pathogenic H5N2.
Low pathogenic avian influenza affects poultry much less than high pathogenic avian influenza, but both affect chickens, ducks , geese, turkeys, guinea fowl, quail, pheasants and oystriches.
The highly pathogenic strain recently found in Golden Plains Shire has caused serious clinical signs and high mortality rates among poultry, Victoria ‘s chief veterinary officer Dr Graeme Cooke said.
“However, we have now also detected a low pathogenic H5N2 strain,” he said.
“This typically causes much reduced clinical signs in comparison.
“This low pathogenic H5N2 was detected in a turkey flock within the recently established Lethbridge restricted area where poultry premises are being tested. Biosecurity officers then linked this premises with another poultry premises near Bairnsdale, where testing also found low pathogenic H5N2.”
The Victorian Department of Health and Human Services has stated that no viruses pose a risk to the public, as such strains rarely affect humans unless there is direct and near interaction with sick birds.
Staff and biosecurity officers are taking all appropriate measures at the affected properties including wearing personal protective equipment.
Properly cooked meat and eggs in poultry are healthy to consume.
Both of the affected properties were placed under quarantine.
“Agriculture Victoria is actively investigating the connection between the two premises and further surveillance activities may be required,” Dr Cooke said.