Dairy Cattle Test Positive for HPAI- State Vet Rod Hall Explains What We Know

Listen to Ron Hays talk with Dr. Rod Hall about HPAI in dairy cows.

On March 25th, the U.S. Department of Agriculture confirmed highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) in two dairy cow herds in Texas and two herds in Kansas. Importantly, USDA confirmed there is no threat to human health, and milk and dairy products remain safe to consume. Senior Farm and Ranch Broadcaster Ron Hays is talking with Oklahoma State Veterinarian Dr. Rod Hall about HPAI found in dairy cows.

“It is a strain we have been dealing with for two years now in poultry and wild waterfowl,” Hall said.

While HPAI is highly contagious in birds, Hall said it is not transferable from cow to cow. When a cow contracts HPAI, Hall said they will recover.

“They do not appear to be terribly sick, and certainly not dying from it,” Hall said. “There is no indication that cows are passing it from one cow to the next. If we thought that is was being transmitted from cow to cow and could move that way, then we would have to at least consider the possibility of depopulating those herds, but that is just not the case right now.”

Hall added that it is unclear what the cause of HPAI is at this time.

“In this world where we live now, where people and products move so much more rapidly than what they used to, the potential for spreading any kind of disease or contaminant is just a lot higher than it used to be,” Hall said. “We have to be much more aware.”

Pasteurization (high-heat treatment) kills harmful microbes and pathogens in milk, including the influenza virus. Consumers in the United States and around the world can remain confident in the safety and quality of U.S. dairy.

To read a joint dairy cow organization statement on HPAI in cows, CLICK HERE.

To read a statement from NCBA on HPAI in cows, CLICK HERE.

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