SYDNEY (Reuters) - Australia's first outbreak of a highly pathogenic bird flu virus in 15 years should be contained by a cull of 50,000 chickens, authorities said on Friday, although they do not know what caused the case at an egg farm in New South Wales state.
The Department of Primary Industries (DPI) said all chickens at the property in Maitland, 160 km (100 miles) north of Sydney, will be destroyed after the H7 virus was detected last week.
The H7 strain is highly pathogenic to birds but is not related to the H5N1 strain, which was first detected in 1997 in Hong Kong and has since caused hundreds of human deaths.
DPI Chief Veterinary Officer Ian Roth said the strain did not present any risks to food safety from poultry and eggs.
The owners of the infected farm have been quarantined as experts try to find the source of the virus, often wild birds.