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USDA Launches Enhanced Aid for Dairy Producers to Combat Milk Loss Due to Avian Flu

USA 28.06.2024
Source: The DairyNews
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The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is set to open applications for its updated Emergency Assistance for Livestock, Honeybees, and Farm-raised Fish Program (ELAP) beginning Monday, July 1.
USDA Launches Enhanced Aid for Dairy Producers to Combat Milk Loss Due to Avian Flu
This initiative aims to support dairy producers facing milk production losses due to Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (HPAI) infections among their herds.

The expansion of ELAP will cover a portion of the financial losses experienced by dairy farmers when cattle test positive for H5N1 and are subsequently removed from commercial milking. Confirmations of such HPAI infections must come from the USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) National Veterinary Services Laboratories (NVSL).

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack emphasized the USDA’s commitment to assisting dairy farmers during outbreaks. “Our goal is to help producers manage the economic impact of H5N1 outbreaks and maintain sustainable production levels,” Vilsack stated.

ELAP is designed to provide emergency relief to producers who face losses due to disease, adverse weather, and other uncontrollable events that fall outside other FSA disaster programs. It's crucial, the USDA notes, for producers to adhere to APHIS's stringent biosecurity measures to help contain and manage the spread of the virus.

To qualify for assistance, dairy cattle must belong to a herd with a confirmed NVSL positive H5N1 test, and the animals must have been removed from commercial milk production within a specified timeframe around the testing date. The program also stipulates that the cattle must be currently lactating and primarily used for commercial milk production.

Eligible producers need to provide proof of a confirmed H5N1 infection, a notice of the loss, and a detailed application to calculate the due assistance based on the production disruptions caused by the disease.

The application window for claiming ELAP assistance will close 30 days after the end of the preceding calendar year, setting a deadline for submissions by January 30 of the following year.

This financial aid represents part of the USDA’s broader effort to support the dairy industry amidst ongoing challenges posed by HPAI, ensuring the safety of the national milk supply while assisting affected producers.
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