Avian flu detected in dairy cattle in Gratiot and Isabella counties

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By 5mustsee.com

In Mid-Michigan (WNEM) – Highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) has been found in dairy herds in Gratiot and Isabella counties.

The Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (MDARD) Director Tim Boring reported the findings on Friday, May 10.

The detections were confirmed by the Michigan State University Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory, and samples were sent to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) National Veterinary Services Laboratory for further testing.

MDARD emphasized the significance of biosecurity in combating HPAI and issued an “Emergency HPAI Risk Reduction and Response” order on May 1. This order mandates all dairy farms in the state to implement enhanced biosecurity measures to minimize the risk of virus introduction.

Further guidance was introduced on May 8 to assist producers in meeting the requirements set forth by MDARD.

Alongside these mandates, MDARD highlights several key steps essential for safeguarding the health and well-being of dairy cattle:

  • Delay or cease introducing animals from herds with unknown or suspected health status
  • Isolate new or returning animals on the farm
  • Regularly monitor animals’ health
  • Contact a veterinarian for any health concerns or to establish a secure food supply plan
  • Separate sick animals and provide dedicated care after attending to healthy animals
  • Avoid cross-contamination by cleaning and disinfecting clothing, footwear, and equipment used around sick animals
    • Use an EPA-registered disinfectant effective against avian influenza
  • Avoid sharing tools and equipment with other farms
  • Thoroughly clean and disinfect trailers transporting animals from other farms
  • Restrict non-essential visitors on the farm
  • Ensure individuals who have recently visited poultry farms do not enter dairy operations, and vice versa
  • Provide clean clothing and footwear to individuals entering the farm
  • Set up hand-washing stations and offer gloves to farm workers

As part of the response to the outbreak, MDARD is collaborating with the veterinarians of affected herds to monitor animal health and conduct tracing investigations.

MDARD is actively coordinating with local, state, and federal authorities to promptly address HPAI reports, curtail its spread, and offer support to those in need.

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