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USDA Supports Bird Flu Containment

Cows in barn

Since the detection of bird flu (H5N1) in dairy cattle in March, USDA has worked to assess the prevalence of the virus in domestic dairy herds, leveraging scientific data to learn about the virus and contain the disease, according to USDA. As part of this approach, USDA recently released financial assistance options for producers with affected herds.

On Thursday, USDA expanded some of these support options to include dairy producers whose herds have not tested positive for H5N1. They include:

Biosecurity planning and implementation support. USDA will provide financial support to any producer to develop and implement a biosecurity plan based on existing secure milk supply plans.

Producer reimbursement for veterinary costs associated with sample collection for H5N1 testing. Veterinary sample collection costs are eligible to be covered up to $2,000 per premise.

Shipping cost offset for influenza A testing at laboratories in the National Animal Health Laboratory Network. USDA is also providing no-cost testing at NAHLN laboratories for samples associated with this event.

Loss of milk production compensation. USDA will soon issue funding available from the Emergency Assistance for Livestock, Honey Bees, and Farm-raised Fish Program (ELAP) to compensate eligible producers with positive herds who experience loss of milk production.

While dairy cows that have been infected with H5N1 generally recover well, and there is little mortality associated with the disease, it does dramatically limit milk production, causing economic losses for producers with affected premises, said USDA.