Dairy Cattle

Ohio Farm Bureau continues to work closely with American Farm Bureau to advocate on behalf of our members while working with USDA and the Ohio Department of Agriculture to gather the latest information regarding HPAI in dairy herds. Please check this page frequently for additional information.

Update: USDA, HHS Announce New Actions to Reduce Impact and Spread of H5N1

Here is what we know:

  • As of April 25, a total of 33 dairies in eight states, including 1 dairy in Ohio, have tested positive for highly pathogenic avian influenza. Infection with the virus is causing decreased lactation, low appetite, and other symptoms in affected cattle.
  • USDA is taking a number of actions to limit the spread of HPAI in dairy cattle including mandatory testing for interstate movement of dairy cattle and mandatory reporting for laboratories conducting tests. Here are the guidance documents for the Federal Order for Mandatory Testing for Interstate Movement of Dairy Cattle.
  • These measures include mandatory testing prior to interstate movement of lactating dairy cattle and mandatory reporting of positive tests to USDA APHIS. Owners of herds where positive tests have been detected will be required to provide animal movement tracing information to USDA. Cows that test positive will be prevented from interstate travel for at least 30 days.

What you need to know:

  • Farmers are dedicated to producing the safest and healthiest food in the world and taking care of the animals and employees that contribute to our food supply.
  • The country’s milk supply remains safe. Sick cows are separated from herds and their milk is not allowed to enter the food supply. As an added layer of safety, milk’s pasteurization process inactivates any HPAI virus.
  • Strict biosecurity protocols are followed on the farm to protect the health of poultry and livestock.
  • Affected cattle have recovered from the virus except when other viruses or health issues are impacting the cattle.
Details of USDA’s federal order:

Mandatory testing for interstate movement of dairy cattle

  • Prior to interstate movement, dairy cattle are required to receive a negative test for Influenza A virus at an approved National Animal Health Laboratory Network (NAHLN) laboratory.
  • Owners of herds in which dairy cattle test positive for interstate movement will be required to provide epidemiological information, including animal movement tracing.
  • Dairy cattle moving interstate must adhere to conditions specified by APHIS.
  • As will be described in forthcoming guidance expected later today, these steps will be immediately required for lactating dairy cattle, while these requirements for other classes of dairy cattle will be based on scientific factors concerning the virus and its evolving risk profile.

Mandatory reporting

  • Laboratories and state veterinarians must report positive Influenza A nucleic acid detection diagnostic results (e.g., PCR or genetic sequencing) in livestock to USDA APHIS.
  • Laboratories and state veterinarians must report positive Influenza A serology diagnostic results in livestock to USDA APHIS.

If you are planning to move cattle out of Ohio, please consult your veterinarian or see interstatelivestock.com for more information.

Additional resources

Detection of HPAI in Dairy Herds: Frequently Asked Questions

Federal Order Requiring Testing for and Reporting of HPAI in Livestock

APHIS Requirements and Recommendations for State Animal Health Officials, Accredited Veterinarians and Producers

Guidance for Labs for Influenza A in Livestock Testing

USDA Actions to Protect Livestock Health From Highly Pathogenic H5N1 Avian Influenza

Ohio Department of Agriculture Resources, including an Ohio Instructional Guide and Alternate Movement Document

ODA Dairy Cattle HPAI One Pager

OSU Offers Biosecurity Resources
The OSU College of Veterinary Medicine hosted a webinar discussing the value of biosecurity practices to mitigate the risk of the H5N1 influenza virus on dairy farms The entire recording of the webinar can be found here. The recording is also available in 15 minutes segments by topics:  
  • Part 1: Why we care about H5N1 in the dairy industry and understanding influenza A
  • Part 2: Why we need biosecurity and how diseases are spread
  • Part 3: Implementing biosecurity practices on the farm in practical ways
  • Part 4: Biosecurity plans: where do you start
  • Part 5: Transportation updates as of 4/25 and Q&A session
Additional biosecurity resources and information are available from OSU Dairy Extension and can be found on their website.
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