Navigating HPAI: Dairy Market Resource Center

Navigating HPAI: Dairy Market Resource Center

Key News This Week: 

April 16: Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza Detected in Three New Michigan Dairy Herds


Update on Developing Story: Concerns Rise as Cows Fall Ill in Texas

On March 25, USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) confirmed that sick dairy cattle in Texas and Kansas tested positive for Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (HPAI), specifically Type A(H5N1). Friday, March 29, cases were confirmed in Michigan, thought to have come from animals transported from Texas. The agency shared that cattle-to-cattle transmission could not be ruled out.  Presumptive positive tests were pending from dairies in New Mexico and Idaho. Bird flu tends to spread from wild waterfowl, and that is the cause USDA is positing presently. And on April 1, the Central for Disease Control shared that a worker on a Texas dairy tested positive for HPAI A(H5N1), perhaps suggesting that the disease could spread to humans.   

USDA has reiterated that milk and meat from impacted animals is safe. Pasteurization kills viruses and microbes. Further, per the Pasteurization Milk Ordinance, milk from any sick cows (HPAI or not) is to be diverted from the human supply chain. Consuming raw milk or dairy products made with raw milk is not recommended by the Food and Drug Administration, due to increased risk for diseases such as listeria. The organization has shared that it is unclear if HPAI can be spread via raw milk, reiterating that unpasteurized milk can pose “serious health risks to consumers.”  Trade organizations have emphasized biosecurity practices, including quarantining sick cows and limiting cattle movement. To date, no formal efforts or policies have been put forth by USDA to limit interstate cattle transportation. 

While infected cows have dropped in milk production, some bounce back after HPAI. However, some do not, and they are culled. That said, the longer-term impact on supply is not entirely clear, as farmers are trying to maintain herd inventories in a time of tight cattle supplies. Additionally, more information and knowledge about the disease is becoming available. Presently, the length of time a cow needs to come back to normal production after being ill, and if it is economical, is not fully understood. 

Demand could be a concern for a couple of reasons.  First, consumer perception of HPAI in dairy cattle may not be positive, and that could cause a decrease in dairy consumption. Further, only the US is reporting HPAI in dairy cattle, and other countries could limit imports of dairy, similar to what occurred during the H1N1 outbreak in 2009.   

HighGround will continue to update this page as more information becomes available.  


For all the important headlines and resources, please see below: 


April 16: Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza Detected in Three New Michigan Dairy Herds

April 11: Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza Detected in South Dakota Dairy Herd

April 10: High Path Avian Influenza detected in North Carolina dairy herd

April 9: World Health Organization Releases a Summary of the Situation

April 9: States begin to restrict cattle imports from those with influenza cases

April 8: AABP Decides to Reference Cattle Disease as Bovine Influenza A Virus (BIAV)

April 3: Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza Detected in Ohio Dairy Herd

April 2: Mexico’s Agriculture Ministry on Tuesday Said it is Taking Preventative Measures to Increase Surveillance and Reinforce Inspections of U.S. Livestock Imports

April 2: Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza Detected in Ionia County Flock

April 2: Commissioner Miller Confirms Cal-Maine Food’s Texas Poultry Facility Tests Positive for HPAI

April 1: Nebraska Department of Agriculture Issues Restrictions, Provides Update on HPAI

April 1: Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza A (H5N1) Virus Infection Reported in a Person in the U.S. 

April 1: HPAI Spreading to Cattle in More States 

March 29: USDA, FDA and CDC Share Update on HPAI Detections in Dairy Cattle 

March 29:  Questions and Answers Regarding Milk Safety During Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (HPAI) Outbreaks 

March 25: Joint Dairy Organization Statement on Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza in Cows 

March 25: Federal and State Veterinary, Public Health Agencies Share Update on HPAI Detection in Kansas, Texas Dairy Herds