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Farms face exclusions around bird flu outbreaks

Poultry producers affected by the worsening outbreak of bird flu will not be covered by typical farm insurance policies given virus and disease exclusions, LMI Group founder Allan Manning says.

Dr Manning says avian influenza has become more prevalent worldwide and exclusions have been tightened, including around potential business interruption impacts.

“Certainly, under no farm pack or normal policy is it covered,” he told “The exclusions around notifiable diseases, which this is, are very broad.”

Dr Manning says there was some cover available through Lloyd’s about two decades ago when there was an outbreak of Newcastle disease.

Agriculture Victoria said today it is responding to the detection of avian influenza at seven farms.

Six properties near Meredith are confirmed to have a high-pathogenicity H7N3 strain of the disease, and one near Terang has a high-pathogenicity H7N9 strain. 

“A comprehensive surveillance program has been in place in the restricted and control areas in order to detect the presence of such viruses,” Agriculture Victoria said.

The Victorian government provides compensation to livestock owners and businesses where livestock is ordered to be destroyed to prevent the spread of an emergency animal disease. The amount paid is set according to market value and does not cover other “consequential losses”.

“Compensation plays an important role in encouraging early reporting of suspect cases to limit the spread of an emergency animal disease,” Agriculture Victoria said.