Current Issues

HPAI In Dairy Cattle

As we learn more about this evolving situation, we will continue to provide the latest information and guidance for production veterinarians. We will continue to post updated information at the links below. 

Federal Mandate for Interstate Premovement Testing – Main Points): On April 24, 2024, USDA APHIS issued a federal order mandating premovement testing of lactating dairy cattle moving interstate for HPAI and reporting of positive test results.

  • Dairy cattle are required to be tested negative for HPAI prior to interstate movement.
  • Samples are to be collected by an accredited veterinarian or a state licensed veterinarian or a sample collector authorized by the state animal health official.
  • Testing must be done within 7 days of movement.
  • Milk samples from all functioning quarters should be combined into one tube for submission. Samples should be collected from individual animals and submitted to a National Animal Health Laboratory Network (NAHLN) laboratory (E.g.: UGA Athens and Tifton Diagnostic Labs).
  • Samples from thirty animals must be tested for a group or lot with more than 30 animals. If the number of animals per lot is less than 30, all animals from the lot must be tested.
Georgia Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratories, College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Georgia

Read the full memo here


The most recent development in the ongoing and devastating HPAI outbreaks is the detection of HPAI in dairy cattle. On March 25, 2024, APHIS announced the detection of HPAI in dairy cattle in Texas and since then the disease has spread to dairy cattle in other states. So far, nine states (Texas, Kansas, New Mexico, Michigan, Idaho, North Carolina, Ohio, South Dakota, and Colorado) have reported outbreaks in dairy cattle affecting more than thirty-six herds. Virus transmission to dairy cattle has been reported to be due to a single spill-over event from wild birds followed by lateral spread of disease. Cattle to cattle and cattle to poultry transmission of the virus from infected dairy herds have been indicated based on genetic and epidemiological data analysis. Cats and peridomestic animals associated with infected dairy herds were also reported to be affected by HPAI. Death of domestic cats fed on raw colostrum and milk from infected cows was reported from Texas in March 2024.  Unpasteurized or spilled milk can act as a source of infection to susceptible animals. Though the risk of human infection is generally low, people exposed to infected birds or animals could be at a greater risk.

What to look for: The infection in dairy cattle could be asymptomatic, or symptomatic with mild illness. The incubation period varies from 12 to 21 days. The main clinical signs are decreased feed intake or anorexia, reduced rumen motility, drop in milk production, changes in milk quality (thicker or colostrum-like milk or no milk), decreased rumination, and occasional fever. Other clinical signs may include respiratory signs, abnormal sticky or loose feces, dehydration, and lethargy.

Who to contact: If you suspect HPAI in a dairy herd or in any other animals or birds, please contact the GDA Animal Health team at 404-656-3667.

For movement testing, milk samples are to be collected by a Georgia licensed, accredited veterinarian. If you need assistance with sample collection, please contact GA Milk Producers at 229-221-3906 or the GDA Animal Health team at 404-656-3667.


Where to send samples for testing: The Georgia Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratories at Athens and Tifton location are committed to assisting the dairy industry with HPAI testing for interstate movement and clinical diagnostic testing.

Samples can be submitted to the Athens Lab at:

 501 D.W. Brooks Dr.

Athens, Georgia 30602

Or the Tifton Lab at:

 43 Brighton Rd./P.O. Box 1389

Tifton, GA 31793

Licensing Delays

The Georgia State Board of Veterinary Medicine is in the processing of rolling out their new licensing system, known as GOALS. The GOALS (Georgia Online Application Licensing System) licensing management system is designed to expedite the issuance of professional licenses across the state of Georgia and provide an improved online experience.

Visit the State Board/GOALS website

If you have ever held a license with the Professional Licensing Board, you will need to verify your personal information and credentials before you can access your profile.

If you have never held a license with Professional Licensing Board, you will need to create a new account. Sign up using your personal email address as your Username to apply.

With the new GOALS system, individuals cannot apply and pay the license fee until after they graduate.  The processing time for new applications is currently running upwards of 35 business days and will affect the upcoming graduates and applicants.  

For those graduating at the beginning of May, they will likely not receive a license before the middle of June – providing they apply for their license immediately after graduation. 

Artificial Intelligence

As artificial intelligence (AI) continues to play an increasingly significant role in various industries, including healthcare, the GVMA aims to ensure compliance with legal regulations, manage potential risks, and uphold ethical standards while leveraging AI technologies for the improvement of veterinary care.

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