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HPAI confirmed in South Dakota dairy cattle

Dairy cows enjoy their breakfast at Kelsay Farms.

Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza has been confirmed in a South Dakota dairy herd and it’s the first reported case in the state.

South Dakota State Veterinarian Beth Thompson tells Brownfield the investigation has just started and there aren’t many details to share, “We’ll be doing some research, meaning an epidemiological investigation, understanding how many animals they have on site, what the herd health is, whether there’s any movement onto or off the site, and then digging into what this virus is actually doing with the affected animals.”

Thompson says she’s been watching the progression of the outbreak in dairy cattle over the past month and while there are unanswered questions, other parts of the spread just make sense, “The fact that we’ve got migratory waterfowl traveling across the country at this point in time, a very high environmental contamination, not altogether surprising, but yet still surprising that we’re finding it in dairy.”

She says biosecurity remains important, “It’s important in making sure that you’re limiting unneeded movements, we don’t need to be moving dairy cows across the country at this point in time. It’s good biosecurity on the farm – clean boots, clean clothing, cleaning the trucks that come on.”

Thompson says it’s also important to ensure any workers who aren’t feeling well stay home. Eight states now have confirmed cases of HPAI in dairy cattle.

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