Grassley surprised by HPAI detection in dairy cattle

U.S. Senator Chuck Grassley says the recent detection of highly pathogenic avian influenza in dairy cattle took the ag industry by surprise.

“After eight years of avian flu being a bird situation with turkeys and chickens, I guess I didn’t know that it affected any other animals,” he said Thursday.

According to USDA, the virus was confirmed on some dairy cattle operations in Texas and Kansas.

Grassley tells Brownfield he’s confident state departments of agriculture can handle the issue. “I think it’s going to be easier to treat and, if possible, vaccinate large animals more so than it is every chicken and turkey that might get it.”

But he says Congress needs to keep monitoring the situation. “Because there’s got to be a partnership between the federal and state governments to keep this under control,” the Iowa Republican said.

USDA says there are still no reports of HPAI in the cow-calf sector or cattle feedlots.

AUDIO: Senator Chuck Grassley responds to Brownfield’s question about HPAI in dairy cattle

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