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eyeofhorusmegaways|Australian gov't boosts funding for avian influenza surveillance

CANBERRAeyeofhorusmegaways, July 10 (Xinhua) -- The Australian government has announced funding to boost preparations for a possible outbreak of avian influenza.

Murray Watt, the Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry, on Wednesday committed 6.9 Australian dollars (4.6 million U.S. dollars) to combat the threat posed by a potential incursion of H5 High Pathogenicity Avian Influenza (HPAI).

He said in a statement that Australia is the last continent to remain free of the H5 strain, which has caused significant deaths of poultry, wild birds and wild mammals around the world.

eyeofhorusmegaways|Australian gov't boosts funding for avian influenza surveillance

Watt said that Australia's biosecurity system and geographic isolation have kept the country free from H5 HPAI but that authorities must remain on high alert.

The funding package includes 2.2 million Australian dollars (1.4 million U.S. dollars) for the One Health Surveillance Initiative, which identifies and mitigates risks to human, animal and environmental health in Australia, and 1.95 million Australian dollars (1.3 million U.S. dollars) to support the national response capability for an avian influenza outbreak in poultry.

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