Bird Flu Detected In Dairy Herd In 12th State; USDA Issues Michigan Findings

The Wyoming Livestock Board (WLSB) and the Wyoming Department of Agriculture (WDA) have received confirmation from USDA’s National Veterinary Services Laboratory (NVSL) of the detection of Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (HPAI, also known as bird flu) in a dairy cattle herd in Wyoming.

This is the first confirmed case of HPAI in a Wyoming dairy farm.
HPAI has now been detected in dairy herds in 12 states. In addition to Wyoming, those states include Texas, New Mexico, Colorado, Kansas, Idaho, South Dakota, Minnesota, Iowa, Michigan, Ohio and North Carolina.

Last Friday, the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship and USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) reported that they had detected a case of bird flu in a dairy cattle herd in Sioux county, IA. That was the second case of bird flu detected in an Iowa dairy cattle herd; the first case was in O’Brien county.

Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Mike Naig has made several requests of USDA to aid affected dairy and poultry farmers, including, among other things: provide compensation for lost milk production at a minimum of 90 percent of fair market value; and provide compensation for cull dairy cattle at fair market value.

Also, Tim Boring, director of the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (MDARD, said the detection of bird flu in a dairy herd from Clinton county. That marks the 25th affected dairy herd in Michigan.

USDA this week released a summary of observations on bird flu in
Michigan dairy herds and poultry flocks. The summary noted that bird flu was first confirmed on a Texas dairy premises on Mar. 25, 2024. Dairy cattle from an HPAI-affected dairy premises in Texas — undetected at the time of the cattle movement — were shipped to Michigan, arriving on Mar. 8, 2024.

After interstate animal movement initially introduced the HPAI genotype B3.13 virus into a Michigan dairy, continued disease transmission within the state is determined to be multifactorial, USDA’s summary noted.

Transmission between farms is likely due to indirect epidemiological links related to normal business operations such as numerous people, vehicles, and other conveyances frequently moving on and off the affected dairy premises, with many of these indirect links shared between premises.

Importantly, disease spread due to independent introduction of the virus onto dairy or poultry premises from migratory waterfowl is not supported based on both genomic and epidemiological data analysis, USDA stated.

Based on the epidemiological findings, the majority of links between affected dairy premises, and between dairy and poultry premises, are indirect from shared people, vehicles, and equipment, USDA noted.

As such, HPAI disease spread between dairy and poultry premises can be mitigated by identifying potential interconnections between operations (people, conveyances, etc.) and increasing biosecurity practices on all premises and associated animal businesses (e.g., milk haulers, deadstock/contract haulers and other shared vehicles/trailers between premises, livestock markets), USDA added. Identifying as many affected herds as possible will assist in assessing the scope of the event

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