No State Regulation Changes At This Time

Five states have confirmed detections of the Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza in dairy cattle: Texas, Kansas, New Mexico, Idaho, and Michigan.

Some states, such as Nebraska, are enacting stricter import rules to control the spread. Wisconsin State Veterinarian Dr. Darlene Konkle says as of right now, Wisconsin officials don’t plan on making any changes. She says Wisconsin’s current livestock tracing laws put us in good hands, such as vet inspections and no movement of sick animals.

She says the food supply chain remains safe. The pasteurization of milk and cooking meat kills HPAI. 

One worker on an infected Texas farm did contract the virus, but Konkle says the risk to humans remains low.

Farm employees can protect themselves from this virus and others with basic biosecurity measures like hand washing, changing clothes, and not eating, smoking, or chewing gum around the animals.

Health officials found that wild birds spread the HPAI on the farms across the five states. It’s not just dairy cows that can contract the virus. Pets and wild animals also contract HPAI. Konkle underscores that this fact is why all livestock operations should bring biosecurity to the forefront — keeping things clean and not sharing equipment between farms for example. 

No deaths have been noted in infected dairy cows. Treatment is akin to the human flu — rest and relaxation over a week or two.