DATCP requiring Influenza A testing for lactating dairy cattle prior to movement to fairs, exhibitions

For the Tomahawk Leader

WISCONSIN – The Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection (DATCP) is requiring Influenza A testing prior to movement of lactating dairy cattle to fairs or exhibitions.

The testing requirement is effective as of today (Wednesday, June 19).

A Tuesday, June 12 release from DATCP the testing requirement was implemented “in an effort to prevent the spread of highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) (H5N1) in dairy cattle.”

DATCP said the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) has recommended that measures be taken to minimize the potential spread of influenza.

“HPAI (H5N1) has been detected in dairy cattle in 12 states, including Iowa, Michigan, and Minnesota,” the release stated. “In addition to the USDA Federal Order that requires Influenza A testing for interstate movement of dairy cattle, today’s announcement will limit the risk of commingling infected animals.

In order to move lactating dairy cattle to fairs or exhibitions within the state, producers must receive a negative test for Influenza A virus at an approved National Animal Health Laboratory Network (NAHLN) laboratory with samples collected no more than seven days prior to movement to the fair or exhibition.

DATCP said this testing is available to producers at no cost through USDA APHIS at NAHLN laboratories. Producers may also apply for reimbursement of shipping and veterinary fees for collection of samples.

The intrastate order requiring a negative Influenza A test prior to travelling to a show or exhibition will remain in effect until 60 days after the last detection of H5N1 in cattle herds in the United States.

“Dairy producers and those working with dairy are strongly encouraged to continue practicing strict biosecurity to protect their herds,” DATCP stated. “DATCP is closely monitoring HPAI (H5N1) in dairy cattle and continues to encourage producers that notice unusual clinical signs in their cattle to work with their herd veterinarian.”

To report herds with unexplained symptoms, veterinarians should contact DATCP at 608-224-4872 during business hours or 800-943-0003 after hours and on weekends. Reports can also be emailed to [email protected].

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