HPAI Update For Dairy Farms

The U.S. Department of Agriculture has confirmed the presence of H5N1 in 84 dairy herds in nine states. These states are Colorado, Idaho, Kansas, Michigan, New Mexico, North Carolina, Ohio, South Dakota, and Texas.

Iowa and Minnesota have announced detections.

Wisconsin does not have a case of HPAI in dairy cows, but producers are still eligible for money to help defend their farms from the virus. Wisconsin State Veterinarian Dr. Darlene Konkle outlines what’s available:

  • Supporting biosecurity planning and implementation of up to $1,500 per premises.
  • Reimbursing producers for veterinary costs associated with sample collection for HPAI (H5N1) testing of up to $2,000 per premises.
  • Offsetting shipping costs for Influenza A testing. It covers up to $50 per shipment for up to two shipments per month per premises.

You will need to apply for these monies, and you may need specific documents or receipts. DATCP can help walk you through the process, Konkle says.

To enroll to receive those resources, and for further questions about them, reach out to Wisconsin’s USDA-APHIS Area Veterinarian in Charge, Paul Kunde, at paul.w.kunde@usda.gov or (608) 444-1745.

Dairy farm workers have also contracted the virus. You can request personal protective equipment from the state Department of Health Services medical stockpile at their website: https://www.dhs.wisconsin.gov/preparedness/medical-stockpile.htm

Food Safety

USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service announced the final results of its beef muscle sampling of cull dairy cows. Researchers tested 109 muscle samples, with 108 testing negative for viral particles.

Results from USDA’s Agricultural Research Service ground beef cooking study are also available. Researchers insulated burger patties with a high level of H5N1 Influenza A and then cooked to three different temperatures (120, 145, and 160 degrees Fahrenheit). Per USDA, “There was no virus present in the burgers cooked to 145 (medium) or 160 (well done) degrees, which is FSIS’ recommended cooking temperature. Even cooking burgers to 120 (rare) degrees, which is well below the recommended temperature, substantially inactivated the virus.”

USDA says it’s not concerned about the safety of the commercial milk supply or consumer health as products are pasteurized before entering the market. Pasteurization inactivates bacteria and viruses, like influenza, in milk.


DATCP encourages producers to practice good biosecurity, including minimizing animal movements and isolating new additions to the herd. To report herds with unexplained symptoms, veterinarians should contact DATCP at (608) 224-4872 (business hours) or (800) 943-0003 (after hours and weekends). 

“What they’ve been seeing for this virus in dairy cattle is a rapid dropoff in milk production, some fevers, and decreased feed intake, so not particularly specific,” Konkle says. “We have had some calls from producers early on, and their veterinarians, potentially wondering if their herds could been affected, and we’ve helped them to get some testing done, and to date, we haven’t detected any in Wisconsin.”