Animal Health Update: Issue 33

a i d - michigan animal health update

Issue 33

Status of Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza in Michigan

Vigilance is still needed as HPAI continues to be detected in Michigan’s wildlife


While the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (MDARD) has not reported any new cases of highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) in domestic poultry flocks since May 11, 2022, this does not mean the virus has left the state. The continued detections of HPAI in Michigan’s wildlife means following strict biosecurity measures is just as important now as it was at the outbreak’s start.

HPAI is a highly contagious virus that can be spread in various ways from flock to flock, including wild birds, through contact with infected poultry, by equipment, and on the clothing and shoes of caretakers.

Since late February 2022, MDARD received approximately 200 calls about possible cases of HPAI, which resulted in 53 investigations. These investigations led to the detection of 13 cases of the disease in domestic birds, 12 involved non-commercial backyard flocks and one case was in a commercial flock. These cases were found in 10 counties across the Upper and Lower Peninsulas.

The frequency of new detections throughout the spring led to MDARD’s decision to stop 2022 poultry and waterfowl exhibitions in Michigan until the state went 30 days without a new detection of HPAI in domestic poultry.

Even though this stop was lifted on June 11, 2022, and the state has gone about two months without a new detection of the disease in domestic birds, HPAI continues to circulate among Michigan’s wildlife. The Michigan Department of Natural Resources regularly updates its website with the new cases found in wild birds and mammals.

This means the virus is still present in the environment, which is not unexpected as it’s known to be carried and spread by wild birds. Following enhanced biosecurity practices is still recommended when treating/caring for domestic birds, especially when the fall migration season begins. With wild birds traveling more widely during that time, it is not fully known what to expect with HPAI detections.

Regardless of how HPAI might continue to spread in the future, biosecurity measures remain vital for keeping Michigan’s domestic flocks healthy.  

MDARD continues to receive and respond to reports of sick or dead domestic birds in Michigan, share information with other state and federal agencies, and monitor national HPAI trends. If there are any subsequent detections in the state, the situation will be thoroughly assessed and evaluated to determine what measures are needed to protect domestic flocks best.  

Reporting Possible Cases

If avian influenza is suspected in domestic birds, contact MDARD immediately at 800-292-3939 (daytime) or 517-373-0440 (after-hours).

Stay Up to Date

Subscribe to receive email notifications by visiting MDARD’s website and clicking on the “Avian Influenza” link. After entering a valid email address, subscribers will receive updates and alerts regarding the status of avian influenza in Michigan whenever there are new developments to report. Additional resources can also be found at

More information on avian influenza and how to protect flocks through biosecurity measures can be found on the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s website.

Funding Returns in 2022 for Free Arbovirus Testing!

Cover the costs of testing suspect animals for EEE and WNV

Horses in a pasture

MDARD is excited to announce the continuation of funding to cover the costs of testing suspect animals for Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE) and West Nile virus (WNV) for 2022. The funding is open to anyone in Michigan, provided:

  1. The animal for testing resides in Michigan.
  2. The animal is (or was recently) showing signs of neurological disease or suddenly died.
  3. The testing is pre-approved by MDARD.
  4. The samples are submitted to the Michigan State University Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory (MSU VDL).

The goal of the grant is to test any Michigan animal suspected of having EEE and/or WNV, especially equids.

Last year, there were 17 cases of mosquito-borne diseases found in domestic animals in Michigan—nine EEE cases and eight WNV cases. The funding provided by this grant helped to identify 10 of these cases. 

Even though the number of cases discovered last year was not as high as in previous years, cases were found in counties where the diseases were never previously reported. Testing animals for mosquito-borne diseases not only helps to confirm the presence of the virus but also monitors for any change. This information is used to communicate risk to the public and assess abatement needs.

To take advantage of this funding opportunity, when a neurologic animal is suspected of having EEE or WNV, please complete a Reporting a Reportable Animal Disease Form (RRAD), including notes in the comment section requesting approval, to Typically, requests are reviewed and responded to within one business day.

Alternatively, this testing can be requested by calling 800-292-3939, but a RRAD form will still need to be submitted.

Pending approval, samples may be collected and refrigerated. Acceptable samples include brain or a combination of whole blood and serum. Cerebrospinal fluid may also be tested. If the animal is dead, brain is always preferred as this allows for a more definitive diagnosis of arboviruses. With brain samples, rabies testing will also be performed at no cost.

If submitting brain, an animal’s head can be sent to the laboratory; the brain does not have to be removed prior to the sample being sent. Also, MDARD may be able to transport the packaged head and completed forms to the laboratory. Contact the department at 800-292-3939 for more information.

Further, when submitting samples, collecting a thorough vaccine history on the animal is crucial, particularly when submitting blood. If possible, please try to determine when it was last vaccinated against EEE and WNV. In addition, it is helpful to know if the animal completed an initial vaccine series and who last vaccinated the animal (e.g., owner, veterinarian).

If approved, MDARD will send laboratory submittal forms. These forms are to be completed and submitted along with the sample to MSU VDL. Further directions for sending the sample can be found on the submittal forms. Once the testing is completed, MDARD will send a notification of the results. 

Testing animals for mosquito-borne diseases provides useful information to help further protect animal and public health. Please be sure to take advantage of this opportunity.

Heard the Buzz?

Learn about bee health during the 5th Annual Honey Bee Veterinary Conference

Bee Conference Flyer

The 5th Annual Honey Bee Veterinary Conference will be held at MSU on August 26-28, 2022

New this year is one hour of research talks highlighting the current work in the honey bee veterinary field of medicine. There are also four hands-on labs covering hive inspections for both beginners and those who are more advanced, honey bee anatomy, and how to diagnose honey bee bacterial diseases. 

Bee sure to register today!

Interested in learning more about bee health and/or being added to a public list of available veterinarians for honey bee clients? Let us know.

Electronic Certificate of Veterinary Inspection (eCVI) Exemptions

MI-eCVI users must still obtain import permits

Health Certificates

Recently, several states have waived requirements for import permits, also known as prior entry permits, when an eCVI is issued. Please be aware that not all eCVIs are eligible for such waivers, only those approved by the National Assembly of State Animal Health Officials (NASAHO) eCVI Standards Subcommittee.

Michigan’s accredited veterinarians can be assured knowing that all the eCVI options listed on MDARD’s Health Certificates webpage have received approval from this subcommittee.

Please also note that this subcommittee has not approved the MI-eCVI; therefore, veterinarians may continue using the MI-eCVI to issue certificates but must obtain import permits when required.

MDARD’s Animal Industry Division recognizes this inconvenience and will announce a newly approved, no-cost eCVI option for Michigan’s accredited veterinarians soon.

Welcome, Dr. Patricia McKane!

AID’s new Cervid and Small Ruminant Program Manager

Dr. Patricia McKane

MDARD’s Animal Industry Division (AID) is pleased to announce Dr. Patricia McKane, DVM, MPH has joined our team as the new Cervid and Small Ruminant Program Manager.

Dr. McKane received her Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (DVM) from Michigan State University and her Master of Public Health (MPH) from the University of Minnesota. She has over 20 years of private practice experience, primarily in New Hampshire and Michigan in thoroughbred racetrack, small animal, and emergency/critical care.

In 2009, Dr. McKane began working as a Program Epidemiologist at the Michigan Department of Community Health (now the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services); and for the past six years, she was a division director overseeing newborn screening, genomics, and non-communicable disease epidemiology.

Dr. McKane has a family farm background and is very excited to be returning to her agriculture and veterinary roots.

Please join us in welcoming Dr. McKane to her new position.

AID is Hiring! Grow With Us!!

Join our team as the Swine and Poultry Program Manager


There is still an opportunity to join our team.

AID is looking for a passionate veterinarian who loves challenges and thrives in a collaborative environment to join us as the new Swine and Poultry Program Manager.

Work in partnership with producers and stakeholders across the state. Qualified candidates only need two years of veterinary experience.

Think you’re the right fit? Apply today!