States to Begin Voluntary HPAI Testing on Dairy Farms

The USDA says four states will begin voluntary pilot programs to test bulk milk tanks on dairy farms for bird flu. Louisiana Illuminator says the move is intended to help dairy farmers ship herds across state lines and make it simpler for public health officials to track any spread of the virus. Kansas, Nebraska, New Mexico, and Texas will be in the first round of voluntary participation, and other states are likely to follow.

Eric Deeble, acting senior advisor for H5N1 response, says, “This list of participating states is just the beginning. It’s important for us to get these four states going so the other states could watch how the program works and gain additional confidence in the idea.” He also says the agency is in close conversations with about a dozen other states who are very interested in participating. Launching the pilot program is “an important step forward.”