It has been two weeks since a new state was added to the list of those with dairy cattle testing positive for highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI). On April 25, Colorado became the ninth state to confirm HPAI in a dairy herd, joining Idaho, Kansas, Michigan, New Mexico, North Carolina, Ohio, South Dakota, and Texas, where the first case was identified.

The dairy industry is still on high alert to limit further spread of the virus. Last week, USDA issued a federal order requiring lactating cows to be tested for HPAI before being moved across state lines. This includes animals being transported for slaughter.

Some states put restrictions in place as well. For instance, in Michigan, lactating dairy cows and those in their last two months of pregnancy will be prohibited from cattle shows until there are no new cases of HPAI in dairy cattle in the state for at least 60 consecutive days.

Actions to stop the spread have expanded to other countries. In mid-April, Colombia became the first country to restrict imports of beef and beef products originating from states where dairy cows have tested positive for HPAI. To date, no beef cattle have tested positive for the virus.

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency also set stricter import requirements for U.S. cattle entering the country. As of April 29, lactating cattle from the U.S. need a negative HPAI test within seven days of export crossing. Any lactating cows that test positive will need to complete a 60-day waiting period and be retested with a negative result before crossing the border. In addition, lactating cows from premises where HPAI has been detected in the last 60 days will not be allowed into the country.

To ensure food safety, USDA and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) have tested milk, other dairy products, and baby formula for signs of HPAI. No live, infectious virus has been detected in dairy foods, confirming that pasteurization is effective in inactivating HPAI and that the commercial milk supply is safe, according to FDA.

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(c) Hoard's Dairyman Intel 2024
May 9, 2024
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