A type of avian paramyxovirus not previously found in Australia had been detected in a number of pigeon flocks in Victoria, Australia, and resulted in the deaths of a number of hobby pigeons.
Australia’s chief veterinary officer, Dr. Mark Schipp, has said that birds that have been affected have died suddenly in large numbers, have sometimes appeared tired or have shown neurological signs such as circling or head flicking before death. “State veterinary authorities have been asked to review the health of their pigeon or poultry flocks," said Schipp. "At this stage, there are no reports of this virus causing disease in wild birds, but we have asked the Australian Wildlife Health Network to be alert to this possibility. The Victorian chief veterinary officer is managing the incident with close cooperation from industry and other veterinary authorities. A national Consultative Committee on Emergency Animal Disease, CEEAD, has met twice on this issue.”
The CEEAD has agreed to a series of measures involving priority investigations of pigeon and other bird holdings where disease is suspected and to quarantine affected properties.