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USDA Announces Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza in Dairy Cattle

In late March, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced the detection of Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (HPAI) in milk and nasal swabs collected from dairy cattle in Texas and Kansas. All four dairies had cows that were exhibiting symptoms consistent with a syndrome that has been affecting dairy cattle in the Texas panhandle, New Mexico, and Kansas since early February.

At this stage, there is no concern about the safety of the commercial milk supply or that this circumstance poses a risk to consumer health. Dairies are required to send only milk from healthy animals into processing for human consumption; milk from impacted animals is being diverted or destroyed so that it does not enter the food supply. In addition, pasteurization has continually proven to inactivate bacteria and viruses, like influenza, in milk.

While no cases have been reported in Oregon, the Oregon Department of Agriculture (ODA) is working closely with partners from the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife (ODFW), Oregon Health Authority (OHA), and USDA, as well as Oregon livestock industry leaders to provide information to Oregon livestock producers, and develop plans to respond if a suspected case is reported in Oregon.

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