Latest on avian influenza in chickens and cows

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board of animal health

Animal Bytes

April 2024

The latest on avian influenza in dairy herds

Cows in field

No cases of Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (HPAI) have been reported in Minnesota dairy herds as of this newsletter's publication. The USDA has been tracking cases in other states and posts updates on its website. Although there have been no federal movement restrictions put in place for dairy or cattle in the U.S., the USDA is recommending producers limit interstate cattle movement when possible. Additionally, several states enacted their own movement requirements for cattle regarding the HPAI situation. Producers can visit to see if there are any movement restrictions for either the origin or destination state.

In Minnesota, we don't have additional restrictions because there are everyday movement measures in place to protect animal health. Cattle imports require a Certificate of Veterinary Inspection, which means animals are examined by a veterinarian before they’re allowed to be transported and information on dairy cow importations are captured in real-time through our Traceability program.

Dairy herds with detection of HPAI are treated differently than infected poultry flocks because the H5N1 virus affects these species differently. For cattle, mortality due to the virus has not been reported and infected animals are able to recover with supportive care in isolation from healthy animals in the herd. Further research is warranted to determine if HPAI is the sole cause of illness in infected herds or if the virus is acting secondary to other diseases. There is ongoing research regarding transmission among and between species so we can continue to improve our surveillance and control of the disease.

The Board of Animal Health and other state agencies are working closely with dairy producers in Minnesota to keep a lookout for any illness in herds and use strong biosecurity to protect them from disease introductions.

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Keep reading...

2024 HPAI detections in poultry

Dairy herds have been taking up much of the HPAI headlines this spring. However, there are still some cases popping up in poultry across the country and in Minnesota. So far this year we've had one HPAI detection in a poultry flock each month.

  • Backyard flock in Sherburne County - January 10
  • Backyard flock in Stevens County - February 27
  • Backyard flock in Clay County - March 11
  • Commercial turkey flock in Meeker County - April 11

We're a little ahead of last spring's case count when Minnesota only had two positive flocks during the season. However, compared to the heart of the outbreak in 2022 the state and poultry are in a much better situation.

Follow Minnesota's HPAI cases on the Board website.

Apply for your summer exhibition permit today

Fairs and livestock exhibitions are right around the corner. Did you know, anyone who operates or conducts a public exhibition of livestock must obtain a permit from the Board prior to the start of the exhibition? Applying for a permit is quick when you use our online sales and exhibition application form.

In addition to getting a permit, all animals must be examined by the official veterinarian on the day they are admitted to the exhibition and at least once daily during the exhibition. All out-of-state animals must meet Minnesota importation requirements. No animal may enter or be at a public exhibition that is showing clinical signs of any infectious, contagious or communicable disease, including ringworm and warts.

April Board meeting recording posted

The Board of Animal Health held its second quarterly meeting of 2024 on Wednesday, April 3, 2024. View the full meeting recording online.

The next quarterly meeting of 2024 is scheduled for Tuesday, September 17.