Legislative Council: Wednesday, June 28, 2023


Avian Bird Flu

The Hon. J.S. LEE (Deputy Leader of the Opposition) (14:44): I seek leave to make a brief explanation before addressing a question to the Minister for Primary Industries and Regional Development regarding Avian bird flu.

Leave granted.

The Hon. J.S. LEE: It was stated on the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry national website, and I quote, 'Ongoing outbreaks of H5N1 globally have increased our level of risk for incursions of HPAI viruses of global concern.' Migratory birds returning to our shores annually between September and November may introduce HPAI viruses. It was further reported that this year's strain of H5N1 is considered so contagious by North American and European agricultural agencies that they recommend vaccination, including for the first time the unprecedented vaccination of specific endangered wild bird populations.

My question to the minister is: has the minister been briefed on this year's Northern Hemisphere strain of H5N1 and its potential reach to South Australia and, more specifically, can the minister inform the chamber of current measures being taken to prepare the poultry industry ahead of the September migration period?

The Hon. C.M. SCRIVEN (Minister for Primary Industries and Regional Development, Minister for Forest Industries) (14:46): I thank the honourable member for her question. To my recollection I haven't had a recent briefing on this particular matter. I think I did have one some time ago—I think it was probably before Christmas—but I certainly will check my records and correct the record if I am mistaken on that. In terms of action, I am happy to take that question on notice and bring back an answer for the honourable member and the chamber.