Swine flu fears hit Dalby piggery

BIOSECURITY officers fear a Dalby piggery could be infected with swine flu.

Tests have confirmed that ill pigs have returned positive tests for Influenza A, but nasal swabs and blood samples are being sent to Victoria for further testing.

Biosecurity Queensland chief veterinary officer Dr Ron Glanville said officers were responding immediately to ensure the virus was contained.

“Biosecurity officers have placed the piggery under quarantine and are implementing strict on-site biosecurity measures,” Dr Glanville said.

“It is fortunate that no pigs have left the property recently, but all steps are being taken to ensure the virus is contained and does not spread to other piggeries.

Dr Glanville said the swabs and blood samples were collected on Monday after a private vet reported a large number of pigs in a shed of 450 were showing flu-like signs.

“At this stage of testing, we do not know for certain if it is the same strain as the one affecting humans, but it appears highly likely that it will be the same strain,” he said.

A case of pandemic human swine influenza was detected at a piggery in Northern Victoria last week and in New South Wales in July.

“QPIF is working closely with the piggery owner, Queensland Health, Australian Pork Limited, and the Federal Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry to ensure a coordinated response is in place,” Dr Glanville said.

“The infection should be self-limiting within the piggery and the response is designed to allow the disease to ‘burn out’ as quickly as possible.”

Dr Glanville said the infection was not a human health issue and food authorities were confident that pork and pork products were safe to eat.

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