Kansas Ag Dept. Keeping Watch After HPAI Found In State’s Dairy Cattle

Animal health officials in neighboring Kansas continue to closely monitor for signs of highly pathogenic avian influenza after the virus was found in dairy cattle on two farms in the southwestern part of that state.  Kansas Animal Health Commissioner Doctor Justin Smith says they continue to monitor other dairy farms and herds.  Speaking to our sister station WIBW in Topeka, Smith describes the situation as  unique, because the virus previously detected in birds was found in a ruminant animal.  He adds that unlike poultry flocks or facilities, where culling takes place, HPAI affects cows and other mammals differently. 

Smith says the best advice for farmers who have dairy cattle, is that anything that may be off may not be the simple condition that they have dealt with in the past.

Smith adds that while many infected dairy cattle have recovered from symptoms, dairy farms impacted by HPAI have been seeing 10 percent morbidity rates among individual wild birds.  He also emphasizes that the milk supply is safe and that no beef cattle have been affected.

Confirmed infections of HPAI in ruminants have also been reported at dairy farms in Texas and New Mexico, as well as among newborn goats in Minnesota.