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USDA Launches Relief Program for Dairy Farms Hit by Avian Flu Outbreaks

USA 08.07.2024
Source: The DairyNews
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Starting July 1, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is now accepting applications for financial aid from dairy producers affected by the outbreak of highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI), known as H5N1, which has impacted dairy cows.
USDA Launches Relief Program for Dairy Farms Hit by Avian Flu Outbreaks
The USDA's Farm Service Agency (FSA) has expanded its Emergency Assistance for Livestock, Honeybees, and Farm-raised Fish Program (ELAP) to include support for dairy farms experiencing reduced milk production due to HPAI infections. Dairy producers can apply for compensation if their herds test positive for H5N1 through the USDA's National Veterinary Services Laboratories.

As of July 2, the USDA reported HPAI cases in dairy herds across 12 states, including Ohio, Idaho, Iowa, Wyoming, South Dakota, Minnesota, Michigan, North Carolina, Colorado, Kansas, New Mexico, and Texas. The outbreak has recorded 137 confirmed cases, with 56 of these cases reported in the last 30 days.

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack emphasized the USDA's dedication to supporting the dairy industry during this crisis. "The USDA remains committed to working closely with producers, state veterinarians, and animal health experts to monitor H5N1 cases and implement measures to curb the spread," Vilsack stated. "In times of unforeseen challenges like H5N1, we strive to adapt our program policies to provide the necessary financial assistance to help producers recover and maintain their operations."

Dairy producers seeking to apply for the assistance are advised to contact their local USDA Service Center to initiate the application process.
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