USDA to require HPAI test for moving dairy across state lines Sarah Gonzalez April 25, 2024

USDA to require HPAI test for moving dairy across state lines

The USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) announced additional actions to further protect the U.S. livestock industry from the threat posed by highly pathogenic H5N1 avian influenza (HPAI).

As detailed in a Federal Order, APHIS will require the following measures, effective Monday, April 29:

  • Mandatory Testing for Interstate Movement of Dairy Cattle: Prior to interstate movement, dairy cattle are required to receive a negative test for Influenza A virus at an approved National Animal Health Laboratory Network (NAHLN) laboratory and adhere to conditions specified by APHIS in forthcoming guidance.
  • Mandatory Reporting: Laboratories and state veterinarians must report positive Influenza A serology diagnostic results and nucleic acid detection diagnostic results (e.g. PCR or genetic sequencing) in livestock to USDA APHIS. 

While taking additional actions, USDA’s announcement also emphasized the agency has not found changes to the virus that would make it more transmissible to humans and between people. While cases among humans in direct contact with infected animals are possible, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) believes that the current risk to the public remains low.

Additionally, USDA continues to see affected cows recover after supported care with little to no associated mortality, and is working with other stakeholders to emphasize the importance biosecurity plays in limiting disease spread for all livestock and poultry. 

Meanwhile, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) released an update on the ongoing work to ensure continued effectiveness of the federal-state milk safety system. Based on current information and research, FDA and USDA continue to believe that the commercial milk supply is safe because of both the pasteurization process and the required diversion or destruction of milk from sick cows.