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NY tightens dairy cow imports to block bird flu

NY tightens dairy cow imports to block bird flu

By Blake Jackson

The New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets announced temporary import restrictions for dairy cattle entering the state. This action comes in response to detections of Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (HPAI), also known as bird flu, in dairy cattle and goats in several other states.

While no cases have been found in New York livestock, officials are taking precautions. Here's a breakdown of the new import requirements:

  • Strict Ban: Importing dairy cattle from farms with confirmed HPAI cases or those under investigation is prohibited.
  • Veterinary Inspection Required: All dairy cattle from affected states must have a Certificate of Veterinary Inspection (CVI) issued within 10 days of entering New York.
  • CVI Statement: The CVI for cattle from affected states must explicitly state that the animals are not from infected premises.

These measures will remain in effect until further notice.

The USDA confirms that pasteurized milk and dairy products remain safe. Pasteurization destroys harmful viruses like avian influenza. There are also no concerns regarding properly cooked meat products.

State Agriculture Commissioner Richard A. Ball emphasized ongoing monitoring and communication with farmers, veterinarians, and federal partners. He advised farmers to maintain good biosecurity practices and stay informed as the situation evolves.

HPAI was first detected in dairy cattle in Texas in late March and has since spread to several other states. While there haven't been confirmed cases in New York dairy cattle or goats, the Department issued an alert to veterinarians urging them to report any suspicious signs.

Symptoms to Watch For:

  • Cattle: Decreased milk production, sudden drop in production with thicker milk, decreased feed intake, abnormal feces, and low-grade fever. Notably, these symptoms primarily affect older cows in mid-lactation.
  • Goats: Unusual deaths in newborns.

If any of these symptoms are observed, veterinarians are advised to contact the Department for sampling guidance at (518) 457-3502.

Biosecurity Measures for Farms:

  • Limit farm access to essential personnel only.
  • Provide dedicated work boots for farm workers that are not worn off-site.
  • Prevent cattle from drinking from potentially contaminated water sources frequented by waterfowl.
  • Discourage wild birds from accessing feed sources. Clean up any feed spills.
  • Contact a veterinarian immediately if cattle show potential HPAI signs.

By implementing these precautions, New York aims to safeguard its livestock industry from the bird flu threat.

Photo Credit: gettyimages-vwalakte

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Categories: New York, Livestock, Dairy Cattle

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