New HPAI Assistance For Livestock Owners

The U.S. Department of Agriculture has confirmed the presence of highly pathogenic avian influenza in 42 dairy herds across nine states. These are Colorado, Idaho, Kansas, Michigan, New Mexico, North Carolina, Ohio, South Dakota, and Texas.

USDA announced assistance for producers with HPAI (H5N1)-affected premises to improve on-site biosecurity to reduce the spread among livestock.

This assistance for H5N1 premises includes:

  • Providing financial support for producers who supply personal protective equipment to employees
  • Supporting biosecurity planning
  • Providing funding for heat treatment to dispose of milk
  • Reimbursing for veterinarian costs
  • Offset shipping costs for influenza A testing at laboratories in the National Animal Health Laboratory Network

USDA is also taking steps to compensate producers for the loss of milk production. Funding will come from the Emergency Assistance for Livestock, Honey Bees, and Farm-raised Fish Program. Dollars will compensate eligible producers with positive herds who experience a loss of milk production.

While infected dairy cows generally recover well, and there is little mortality associated with the disease, it does dramatically limit milk production, causing economic losses for producers with affected premises. USDA can support farmers with the ELAP program to offset some of these losses. This compensation program is distinct from the strategy to contain the spread.

Health officials first detected H5N1 in dairy cattle in the Texas panhandle on March 25. On April 1, Texas reported the first and only confirmed human H5N1 infection associated with this outbreak. On April 24, USDA issued a Federal Order that took effect on April 29 to limit the movement of lactating dairy cattle and to collect H5N1 test results to understand the outbreak.

The state Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection has guidance here: