Iowa dairy herds report several new cases of HPAI; how to take precautions at fairs and shows

Cases of High Path Avian Flu among dairy cattle continue to grow, with more cases now reported in Iowa.

Another herd has been found in Sioux County, which has had nine infected herds since the outbreak began, with a total of 11 throughout the state.

Across the United States, the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service reports 112 confirmed cases in 12 states. In the last 30 days, more than 50 new cases have been confirmed through lab testing. Recently, North Dakota and Wisconsin began requiring testing of lactating dairy cows before in-state events, but no cases have been confirmed in either of those states.

Wisconsin’s State Veterinarian says testing is welcome and notes there are other biosecurity measures producers can take while at fairs and shows.

“We recommend, and we have recommended this for a long time, that different species of animals be kept separate as possible at the fair. We know some of the barn situations are such that multiple species can be kept within the same barn, but to look at airflow and try to separate different species. For instance, this particular H5N1 virus, we know, can spread potentially from cattle to poultry or poultry to cattle. So, we want to try to keep those two groups separate. Individual exhibitors should keep their own equipment, feeding supplies, grooming supplies, and milking supplies separate from other exhibitors, and keep all that equipment clean and sanitized between use. And we also recommend that trailers transporting animals to the fair and back be cleaned in between the usage,” said Dr. Darlene Konkel.

USDA put testing requirements for interstate travel in place several months ago but Ag Secretary Tom Vilsack says more needs to be done. He tells Brownfield Ag News he wants to see a greater focus on people, vehicles, and equipment. Since 2022, four humans have contracted the virus with minimal symptoms.

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