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Vilsack: more biosecurity needed for livestock

Ag Secretary Tom Vilsack says more biosecurity is needed in the livestock industry to reduce the spread of H5N1.

“We’ve seen increases obviously in the number of farms within states. That’s a result of more testing, which is good, but at the same time, I think it puts a premium on making sure it’s not just the cows we’re focused on, but the people, the vehicles and equipment that can carry the virus.”

In late May, USDA announced more assistance for livestock producers dealing with H5N1 building on the Federal Order addressing pre-movement testing of dairy cattle.

He tells Brownfield USDA will soon have more details available on the compensation for lost milk production through the Emergency Livestock, Honey Bees, and Farm-raised Fish Program or ELAP.

“I think that might be something farmers will be interested in and we have the voluntary herd certification program we’re launching and we’re excited about that opportunity.”

Altogether, H5N1 has been confirmed in livestock in 12 states including Iowa, Kansas, South Dakota, Minnesota, Michigan and Ohio.

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