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Nebraska Implements Cattle Importation Restrictions Amid Avian Influenza Concerns

USA 03.04.2024
Source: The DairyNews
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The Nebraska Department of Agriculture (NDA) has announced measures to address the detection of highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) in dairy cattle across several states, including Texas, New Mexico, Kansas, Michigan, and Idaho. While there have been no reported cases in Nebraska, the NDA is taking proactive steps to safeguard the state's dairy herd.
Nebraska Implements Cattle Importation Restrictions Amid Avian Influenza Concerns
Effective immediately, the NDA has issued an importation order requiring all breeding female dairy cattle entering Nebraska to obtain a permit beforehand. This measure aims to prevent the spread of HPAI and protect the health of Nebraska's livestock industry.

Producers seeking permits can contact the NDA at 402-471-2351. The importation order will remain in effect for 30 days, subject to re-evaluation, and further information is available on the NDA's website.

NDA Director Sherry Vinton emphasized the importance of animal health and disease control, stating, "We will do what’s right to advocate for Nebraska producers, to protect the health of Nebraska livestock, and to minimize the impact HPAI will have on dairy producers in the state."

State Veterinarian Roger Dudley underscored the necessity of enhanced biosecurity measures on farms and ranches, advising strict adherence to biosecurity practices and quarantining new animals for 30 days where feasible.

Dairy producers are urged to remain vigilant for symptoms such as sudden drops in milk production and changes in milk quality. Any observed clinical signs should be reported promptly to both herd veterinarians and the NDA.

While HPAI has been detected in dairy cows, there is no known risk to public health as pasteurization effectively eliminates the virus. The NDA is collaborating with various stakeholders to monitor the situation closely and implement strategies to safeguard Nebraska's livestock industry.

Dudley assured, "Understanding the details surrounding the transfer of the HPAI virus to livestock is an important part of the epidemiological investigation. While troubling, this outbreak does not currently threaten the lives of dairy cattle, and the pasteurization process continues to keep the milk supply safe."
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