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Biosecurity needs to evolve in ag

The ag director in one of the states with the most confirmed cases of H5N1 in dairy says the biosecurity process needs to evolve in agriculture to protect animals and public health.

Michigan Ag Director Tim Boring says good biosecurity has a lot to do with people. He says early on it was unknown farm workers who were around egg laying birds were also around dairy cows, making biosecurity more vulnerable.

“We’re working with dairy farms in that entirety of building out what biosecurity looks like in the face of this response in a broader, comprehensive way than we’ve seen in the past.”

He says cleaning and disinfecting vehicles and dairy equipment matters, too, and perhaps changing some dairy business models to limit traffic on farm.

Boring says containing the virus quickly helps limit its spread between farms and farm workers. He says the situation is manageable.

“The concern here becomes if this virus continues to mutate in ways it’s shown to do so and now, we’ve got a far greater public health threat on our hands. We’re really looking to get a grasp on where the virus is at, contain the virus and protect public health in the near and long term.”

Brownfield interviewed Boring at the MASDA Regional meeting in St. Louis this week.

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