The Australian Government have quarantined a farm in New South Wales after tests on a chicken for avian influenza were inconclusive, the Dow Jones newswire has reported.

Peter McGauran, the Agriculture Minister, said today (23 December) that the move was a precautionary measure and that further tests were being conducted, although it is not known when results will be made public.

"While there is no evidence of any outbreak of avian influenza on the property, it has been placed under quarantine as a precautionary measure. Of the range of tests concluded, all were clearly negative except for some molecular tests, which gave some weak, inconclusive results," McGauran said.

Australia is yet to record a case of H5N1 bird flu, but has adopted a conservative approach to the containment of animal diseases.