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Current Livestock Outbreak of Bird Flu Lands in South Dakota

By C.J. Keene

The highly pathogenic avian influenza – or bird flu – has been found in South Dakota cattle.

While there are no human cases, the matter has the attention of state livestock owners and veterinarians.

The outbreak was first detected in herds in Kansas and Texas, and now it’s been found in South Dakota.

State veterinarian Beth Thompson said this has been a long time coming.

“For producers here in the state of South Dakota we’ve been watching what has been happening in some of the southern and southwest states," Thompson said. "We know that highly pathogenic avian influenza has been in the United States now for going on three years.”

She said producers should keep an eye on anything out of the ordinary in their herds.

“We want to make sure that we keep our dairy herds here in South Dakota healthy and that we know what is being added to these herds," Thompson said. "I have a lot of faith in our dairy producers across the state, I think they do a wonderful job for biosecurity, but this is a concerning situation.”

It’s so concerning that some states have moved to restrict cattle imports from others with confirmed influenza cases. Thompson said the jury is still out for South Dakota.

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