April 18, 2024

Dairy herds in four counties in Michigan, US, infected with bird flu




The detection of highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) in dairy herds in three additional counties in Michigan, the United States — Ionia, Isabella, and Ottawa — brought the total number of affected counties in the state to four, said Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development's (MDARD) director Tim Boring, on April 12.


On March 29, MDARD announced Michigan's first HPAI-positive dairy herd located in Montcalm County. The US Department of Agriculture's (USDA) National Veterinary Services Laboratory confirmed these detections on April 11.


"What is happening with HPAI in Michigan, mirrors what is happening in (US) states across the country," said Boring.  "This virus does not stop at county or state lines, which is why we must all be on high alert. This news is unfortunate and upsetting for our poultry and dairy farming families and communities.


"Experts from across the nation continue to assess this situation and provide insights into the role of HPAI in the affected livestock as they become aware. MDARD continues working with our federal, state and local partners to respond robustly to this disease. Thanks to recent budget investments, MDARD is well poised to properly engage in this response."


According to the USDA, the Food and Drug Administration and Centers for Disease and Prevention, the US' commercial milk supply remains safe due to federal animal health requirements and pasteurisation.


Federal experts continue to stress there is no concern about the safety of the commercial milk supply or that this circumstance poses any increased risk to consumer health. Analysis of the virus from this case and the other cases of affected cattle has not shown any significant new adaptation to make the virus more transmissible between mammals. Therefore, the public health risk associated with HPAI remains low.


"HPAI doesn't affect dairy cows the same way as it does with poultry,"  said State Veterinarian Dr. Nora Wineland. "With proper veterinary care, cows are recovering. Biosecurity is the best line of defense. Still, we want to stress working with your veterinarian is fundamental for the recovery of affected dairy cows .


"It continues to be vitally important for producers to work with their veterinarian, minimise the number of visitors to their farms, prevent contact between their animals and wildlife and continue to monitor the health of animals vigilantly."


Dairies continue to be strongly encouraged to implement enhanced biosecurity measures to help prevent the spread of disease.


- Agriculture & Rural Development

Video >

Follow Us