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Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (HPAI) Resources and News

On March 25, 2024, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) confirmed Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (HPAI) in samples collected from dairy cattle in the United States. The agency confirmed there is no threat to human health, and milk and meat remain safe to consume.

Colorado Livestock Association is carefully monitoring information regarding the outbreak. We continue providing accurate information and will update this page with resources as needed.

Please contact the Colorado Department of Agriculture at 303-869-9130 or animalhealth@state.co.us with questions.

Updates on H5N1 Beef Safety Studies

May 24, 2024

USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS), as part of its ongoing efforts to ensure the safety of the food supply, has conducted tests on beef tissue from 96 cull dairy cows condemned at select FSIS-inspected facilities. Meat from condemned cows is prohibited from entering the food supply. On May 22, 2024, viral particles were detected in tissue samples, including muscle, from one cow.  To date, samples from 95 cows have tested negative for viral particles. No meat from these dairy cattle entered the food supply.

USDA Expands Support for Producers to Stop the Spread of H5N1 in Dairy Cattle

May 23, 2024

Since the detection of H5N1 in dairy cattle in March, USDA has worked swiftly and diligently to assess the prevalence of the virus in U.S. dairy herds and to use the latest scientific data to learn about the virus and to quickly contain the disease event. As part of this multifaceted approach, on May 10, USDA announced several financial assistance options for producers with affected herds.

Updates on H5N1 Beef Safety Studies

May 16, 2024

USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) and Agricultural Research Service (ARS) are announcing results from the ground beef cooking study. The study was conducted to determine the effectiveness of cooking related to H5N1 and beef. Ground beef patties were inoculated with a very high concentration of an H5N1 virus surrogate. The ground beef patties did not previously contain any virus particles prior to inoculation for the purposes of the study. No virus remained in burgers cooked to 145 and 160 degrees Fahrenheit. These results validate that FSIS’ recommended cooking temperatures are sufficient to kill H5N1 in meat...

USDA, HHS Announce New Actions to Reduce Impact and Spread of H5N1

May 10, 2024

Today, USDA is announcing assistance for producers with H5N1 affected premises to improve on-site biosecurity in order to reduce the spread. In addition, USDA is taking steps to make available financial tools for lost milk production in herds affected by H5N1. Building on the Federal Order addressing pre-movement testing, these steps will further equip producers with tools they can use to keep their affected herds and workers healthy and reduce risk of the virus spreading to additional herds.

Clarification Regarding Movement of Cattle Through Markets or Auctions to Slaughter, Under the April 24 Federal Order

April 27, 2024

USDA APHIS continues to receive questions related to the movement of lactating dairy cattle to sale barns and auction markets under the Federal Order and associated guidance, effective on April 29.

This message is to clarify that the Federal Order does not apply to the intrastate movement of a lactating dairy cow to a sale barn. Subsequent interstate movement for a lactating dairy cow from a sale barn directly to a slaughter facility requires only a Certificate of Veterinary Inspection (CVI) stating that the animal is clinically healthy; no testing is necessary...

USDA Confirms Detection of Avian Influenza in Dairy Cattle in Colorado

April 26, 2024

Yesterday, the US Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) National Veterinary Services Laboratory (NVSL) confirmed a detection of Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (HPAI) H5N1 in dairy cows in Northeast Colorado. This is the first detection of avian influenza diagnosed in cattle in Colorado. Detections of HPAI in dairy cattle have occurred in eight other states.

On Monday, April 22, the Colorado State Veterinarian’s office received a notification of a dairy herd demonstrating clinical signs consistent with HPAI in cattle. Samples submitted to the Colorado State University Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory tested presumptive positive for HPAI on April 24, and were confirmed by the USDA's National Veterinary Services Laboratory on April 25...

USDA Actions to Protect Livestock Health From Highly Pathogenic H5N1 Avian Influenza

April 24, 2024

To further protect the U.S. livestock industry from the threat posed by highly pathogenic H5N1 avian influenza, USDA is sharing a number of actions that we are taking with our federal partners to help us get ahead of this disease and limit its spread.

Today, USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) announced a Federal Order requiring the following measures, effective Monday, April 29, 2024...

FDA Reaffirms that Pasteurization is Effective Against HPAI, Commercial Milk Supply Safe

April 23, 2024

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) confirmed again today that pasteurization of milk consistent with the federal Grade “A” Pasteurized Milk Ordinance (PMO) destroys harmful pathogenic bacteria and other microorganisms, including Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (HPAI) and other viruses. The data cited by FDA is consistent with many other studies demonstrating that the legally required temperature and time for milk pasteurization will readily inactivate HPAI. Viral fragments detected after pasteurization are nothing more than evidence that the virus is dead; they have zero impact on human health. Further, the federal PMO prohibits milk from sick cows from entering the food supply chain. Milk and milk products produced and processed in the United States are among the safest in the world.

Milk and Meat Safety

There continues to be no concern about the safety of the milk supply or that this circumstance poses a risk to consumer health because products are pasteurized before entering the market, per the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Only milk from heathy animals is authorized for distribution into interstate commerce for human consumption. Additionally, pasteurization has continually proven to inactivate bacteria and viruses, including influenza, in milk.

USDA and FDA remind consumers that raw milk should not be consumed. Raw milk is a key vehicle in the transmission of human pathogens. As this situation continues to evolve, NMPF joins USDA, FDA and the International Dairy Foods Association in strongly recommending that all raw milk and raw milk components be heat-treated to a temperature and duration that kills harmful pathogenic bacteria and other microorganisms, including HPAI viruses, regardless of the product’s intended use for human or animal consumption. FDA also recommends out of an abundance of caution that milk from cows in an affected herd not be used to produce raw milk cheeses.

All dairy cattle are also subject to the Federal Meat Inspection Act and must be slaughtered and processed under inspection by USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service, ensuring that all meat entering the food supply has been inspected and approved for human consumption.

HPAI Public Town Hall

CDA and the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment hosted a joint virtual Town Hall meeting to provide updates on the status of avian influenza in Colorado, discuss the pre-testing requirements for dairy cattle, and answer questions about the situation in Colorado.

Information from Federal and State Agencies

Resources for Livestock Owners

Source: Colorado Department of Agriculture

Updated as of May 16, 2024

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) National Veterinary Services Laboratory (NVSL) confirmed a detection of Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (HPAI) H5N1 in dairy cows in Northeast Colorado on April 25, 2024. USDA has also confirmed detections in premises in multiple states.

Symptoms in dairy cows include low appetite, decreased milk production and abnormal colostrum-like milk.

For more information about infections in livestock and for additional resources, please visit the USDA website.

Contact the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment for additional PPE resources scott.bookman@state.co.us.

Biosecurity Resources

The Secure Milk Supply website offers comprehensive materials on dairy biosecurity practices, including posters and information sheets in English and Spanish.

Additional biosecurity resources can be found at the following links:

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