Be aware of changing animal importation guidelines

Wisconsin’s state veterinarian says with highly pathogenic avian influenza spreading, producers need to be aware of cattle importation rules in other states if they’re planning to move animals.

Dr. Darlene Konkle

Many producers buy and sell cattle across state lines, and others send their calves and heifers to warmer climates until they are ready to enter the milking herd.  Dr. Darlene Konkle says they have information online to help producers comply with the many different guidelines. “We have links to those on our website, and you should also contact the state of destination just to make sure that you’re observing the latest import requirements.”

Nebraska issued an order April 1st requiring a permit to bring in dairy breeding cattle.  Konkle says Wisconsin has robust traceability requirements already in place with the current import requirements and the required certificates of cattle inspection but things could change because of the spread of highly pathogenic avian influenza. “We are watching it closely and it is an evolving situation so there is definitely a potential that our import requirements could change, but we don’t have any changes planned at this time.”

Konkle says Wisconsin has no HPAI cases in dairy cattle now, but the sick cows in other states are recovering. She says, “In humans, there is a drug called Tamiflu. It would be prohibitively expensive in cattle, so these cattle are just being treated with supportive care in hospital pens with additional feed, water, and supportive care.”

Konkle says the disease is fatal for poultry and has affected many mammals, including foxes, skunks, racoons, and even some cats at the affected farms.

For guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control on prevention and monitoring, go to this link.

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