Avian Influenza (AI) Protocols

Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza has been detected in poultry in NSW. This is a notifiable disease and has potential serious implications if not controlled. We have been given instructions by various authorities regarding appropriate protection and control measures that we need to adopt to best protect our patients and staff. 

Most of our patients are in the low-risk category being indoor birds with no access to wildlife. Avian influenza (AI) spreads most easily from wild birds to poultry via direct contact or faecal contamination. Any bird can become infected and clients should be reassured we are taking steps to ensure birds visiting the clinic are protected. 

Steps you can take at home to reduce your birds risk of becoming infected: 

  • Keep birds indoors
  • No mixing of birds form different households
  • No visiting bird shows or sales
  • Wash your hands when arriving home and before handling birds
  • Do not visit birds outside your home especially not within the control zones
  • No birds are permitted to leave a control zone (check DPI website for a map of the zones)
  • Outdoor birds, especially poultry need to be protected form contact with wild birds as best as possible. Ideally move them indoors or if this is not possible, ensure wiring is appropriate to exclude wild birds, ideally double fenced to reduce contact. Make sure all food and water sources are protected and undercover form wild birds or animals. Do not feed or encourage wild birds on your premises. Solid roofing over aviaries can help reduce contamination from wild birds overhead. 


All clients with birds will need to wait in the car on arrival and call the clinic to check in and be advised what to do from here. We do not want birds waiting in the waiting room where they may be close to other birds. Our reception staff will ask some questions to enable us to triage your bird and determine the risk of AI and if we can allow them inside. 


The recommendation to Avian Vets is to temporarily cease providing care to wildlife or to take stray birds. These birds must be taken to local vets who do not routinely treat birds and can call us if advice is needed. These birds cannot come inside the clinic due to risk to clients birds. 


An appointment can be made, however you will need to wait in your car and call the clinic for instructions on arrival. We may need to examine your bird outside the clinic and take swabs for testing prior to being allowed entry.


You may be able to come straight in once we have a consultation room available or you may need to be seen outside. We may need to take a swab for AI testing while you return home and await results before returning for a second appointment once a negative result is returned. 

While this is a stressful time and many people may be concerned for the welfare of their birds, these protocols are in place to ensure we increase the safety of everyone’s pets and allow us to stay open and able to care for as many patients as possible. 

Please remain patient and treat our staff with kindness as we try and adapt to this difficult situation which will inevitably continue to change. 

For the latest information on AI please visit https://www.dpi.nsw.gov.au/animals-and-livestock/poultry-and-birds/health-disease/avian-influenza