FDA Commissioner says multiple agencies monitoring cases of HPAI in dairy cattle

As cases of highly pathogenic avian influenza in cattle continue to rise, the Food and Drug Administration commissioner says multiple agencies are working on the issue.

Robert Califf testified before the U.S. House Oversight Committee this week. “There are Zoom conferences multiple times a day now in involving FDA, CDC, the Department of Agriculture,” he says.  “But also many other related areas of government that have a stake in the game of Interstate Commerce and Department of Justice.”

In an effort to limit exposure, 17 states have restricted cattle importations from states where the virus is known to have infected dairy cows.  

He told Committee members avian influenza has been around for some time.  “But the most recent episodes with the cows is a relatively new thing,” he says. “So we’re starting with a lot of uncertainty and working our way through it.”

South Dakota is the latest state to report a detection of HPAI in dairy cows.  That brings the total to more than 20 cases across eight states.

The USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service is not issuing federal quarantine orders at this time, but it strongly encourages producers to minimize the movement of cattle as much as possible and advises them to refrain from moving sick or exposed animals.

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