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Nebraska issues dairy cattle importation order

Nebraska’s state veterinarian has issued an importation order requiring a permit before bringing female dairy cattle into the state.

Dr. Roger Dudley tells Brownfield the permit does not prohibit the importation of dairy cows but does provide more information in case they need to trace any highly-pathogenic avian influenza cases that develop later. “We are not restricting movement of dairy animals. We are just wanting to to be able to identify where they’re going and what kind of animals they are coming in.”

Dudley says the importation order is in place for the month of April, but can be renewed if necessary.  And, he says the order only applies to dairy breeding cows. “This is only female dairy cattle for breeding purposes, so if they are milking, we consider that to be breeding purposes, so if they’re coming in for harvest to one of our harvest facilities, that does not require a permit.”

Dudley tells Brownfield Nebraska used to regularly collect the cattle data required by the temporary order, but stopped three years ago.

Dudley says biosecurity on the farm is important every day but even more important with situations like this as they try to prevent viruses like avian influenza from spreading.

So far, avian influenza has affected several dairy cattle in Texas, Idaho, Kansas, Michigan, and New Mexico.  Most of the affected cattle were older, second lactation or later cows at least 150 days into milk.

AUDIO: Dr. Keith Dudley discusses Nebraska’s new importation order for dairy breeding cattle with Brownfield’s Larry Lee

More details about Nebraska’s importation order can be found here.

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