Hi all

I expect you’ve all heard about High Pathogenicity Avian Influenza (bird flu; HPAI) and that tragically it’s likely to reach New Zealand within the next year or two.

The national response to the arrival of HPAI will in the first instance be led by the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) with the Ministry of Health and Department of Conservation playing key roles. Local councils will have a regional role, particularly in supporting national communications and managing public safety and indigenous species on council-managed land.

As per these MPI / Biosecurity NZ instructions - https://www.mpi.govt.nz/dmsdocument/62035/direct - if you suspect HPAI in wild birds:

If you see three or more sick or dead wild birds in a group:

  • report it immediately to Biosecurity New Zealand’s Exotic Pest and Disease Hotline on 0800 80 99 66
  • Do not handle the birds.

Provide as much detail to Biosecurity New Zealand as you can, including:

  • a GPS reading or other precise location information
  • photographs and/or videos of sick and dead birds
  • species identity and estimate of numbers affected
  • note how many are sick or freshly dead, and the total number present.

Biosecurity New Zealand will take details and an incursion investigator will be in contact with you. Follow any instructions from Biosecurity New Zealand for handling of sick or dead birds.

If your finding is in a local park or reserve - and Biosecurity New Zealand confirm the presence of HPAI - please advise PMANZ as soon as you are able.

 The effects of HPAI in the UK and Europe have been severe, so here’s hoping our birds don’t get hit as hard.