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HPAI Detected in Dairy Cattle

Highly pathogenic avian influenza detected in TX, KS dairy cattle

There continue to be updates regarding HPAI being an emerging disease in dairy cattle. For the latest information regarding the requirements for interstate movement of livestock, please check the website Interstate Livestock or contact the State Animal Health Official in the state of destination. Interstate movement regulations are changing rapidly and should be verified prior to each movement. Farm biosecurity is very important and the following resources provide excellent information:

A Message from Commissioner Harper

“As we continue to monitor the situation in Texas, New Mexico, and Kansas, I want to emphasize the crucial importance of biosecurity in your operations and encourage all Georgia producers to enhance your biosecurity practices to protect the health of your herd. Our team at the Department is actively engaged with USDA and FDA as well as key stakeholders in our state, and we will continue to work with them to update you as soon as new information comes to light. If your herd shows any symptoms, I am asking you to contact your veterinarian and the Georgia Dept. of Agriculture (GDA) Animal Health team at (404) 656-3667. Through biosecurity and coordination, we can work together to protect Georgia’s herds and safeguard the success of our state’s #1 industry.”

Tyler Harper, Georgia Agriculture Commissioner

What We Know

  • Several weeks ago, dairy cattle, in Texas, New Mexico, and Kansas, particularly older cattle in mid-to-late stages of lactation, began displaying the below clinical signs due to an unknown cause. 
    • Drop in feed consumption 
    • Decreased rumen motility
    • Drop in milk production
  • On Monday, March 25, 2024, USDA confirmed the presence of HPAI in milk and nasal samples taken from impacted cattle from several farms in Texas and Kansas. 
  • Additional testing is ongoing to determine if HPAI is the causal agent of these clinical signs or if there are other factors involved. 
  • USDA, FDA, and state animal health officials are the lead agencies investigating this situation. 

What We’re Doing

  • GDA is in regular communication with USDA/FDA and key stakeholders on the ground in Georgia, including the Georgia Milk Producers, the Georgia Department of Public Health, the Georgia Cattlemen’s Association, and the Georgia Veterinary Medical Association. 
  • We are continuing to encourage all livestock operations to implement enhanced biosecurity measures. 
  • We are working with our partners to monitor dairy herds in Georgia and asking producers and veterinarians to report occurrences of these clinical signs in Georgia herds immediately to your veterinarian and the GDA Animal Health team. 

For Milk Producers/Veterinarians

  • If you see something, say something. Look for:
    • decreased feed intake
    • decreased rumination
    • decreased milk production
    • unusual or persistent fever, pneumonia, loose feces, changes in milk color or consistency, or other unusual signs 
  • Producers should report clinical signs consistent with this event to their veterinarian and the GDA Animal Health team at (404) 656-3667.
  • Veterinarians should contact the GDA Animal Health team if they suspect a case to discuss sample collection and submission to the UGA Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratories. 
  • As always, producers and veterinarians are encouraged to practice good biosecurity when moving on/off and between farms. 
  • GDA will continue to monitor the situation and communicate developments as appropriate.

For Consumers

  • Initial testing has not found changes to the HPAI virus that would make it more transmissible to humans, which indicates the current risk to public health remains low.
  • Georgia consumers can and should feel confident that the milk products offered for sale at their local grocery store are safe and wholesome. 
  • Milk from sick animals does not enter the supply chain, and if that were to happen, the pasteurization process would kill any virus remaining in the milk. 
  • No cattle in Georgia have been impacted at this time.

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