Thursday, June 13, 2024

"Wyoming becomes 12th state to report bird flu in dairy cows"

From Food Dive, June 12:

As the outbreak widens, Iowa is urging the Biden administration to compensate farmers for lost milk production.

Wyoming has reported its first case of bird flu in dairy cows, expanding the outbreak to 12 states.

State officials said last week the case was identified in samples received by the Wyoming State Veterinary Laboratory. The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Veterinary Services Laboratory subsequently confirmed the positive case. 

As more cows become ill, the main concern facing dairy farmers are production setbacks driven by milk losses, Hallie Hasel, a Wyoming state veterinarian, said in a statement. In Iowa, which also reported its first cases of bird flu in dairy cattle last week, officials are urging the USDA to compensate farmers for lost milk production or the cost of culling cows.  

“Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza continues to pose a significant threat to our livestock and the livelihoods of the farmers that care for them,” Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Mike Naig said in a statement. “This is going to take the entire agricultural community working together because we all have a stake.” 

Health and agriculture agencies have been monitoring the situation since before late March, when the H5N1 virus emerged on a dairy farm in Texas. About 90 bird flu cases have been detected in cattle since then, according to the USDA’s online tracker as of June 11. Three U.S. dairy workers have also contracted the virus, with one exhibiting respiratory symptoms....