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Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza Detected in Gratiot County

Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza Detected in Gratiot County

By Andi Anderson

Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (MDARD) Director Tim Boring has reported the detection of highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) in an additional dairy herd from Gratiot County. The Michigan State University Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory conducted testing, with samples sent to the U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) National Veterinary Services Laboratories for confirmatory testing.

Following this detection, MDARD emphasizes the critical role of biosecurity in combatting HPAI. Director Boring issued the Determination of Extraordinary Emergency HPAI Risk Reduction and Response Order on May 1, 2024.

This order mandates enhanced biosecurity measures for all dairy operations in Michigan to collectively reduce the risk of introducing the virus onto farms. Additional guidance was issued on May 3, 2024, to assist producers in implementing these requirements, which became effective on May 8, 2024.

In addition to these mandatory measures, MDARD advises dairy farmers to take proactive steps to protect their herds:

  • Animal Movement: Delay or halt the entry of animals from herds with unknown or suspect health status.
  • Isolation: Isolate all new or returning animals on the farm.
  • Health Monitoring: Monitor the health of animals daily and promptly report any concerns to a veterinarian.
  • Equipment and Clothing: Maintain separate equipment and clothing for sick animals, ensuring proper disinfection.
  • Farm Visitors: Limit non-essential visitors and prevent cross-contamination between poultry and dairy operations.
  • Cleanliness: Implement thorough cleaning and disinfection protocols for equipment, trailers, and farm premises.

MDARD is actively collaborating with the affected herd's veterinarian to monitor animal health and conduct trace investigations. The department remains committed to swift response and outreach efforts in partnership with local, state, and federal agencies to contain the spread of HPAI and safeguard Michigan's agricultural community.

Photo Credit: istock-peopleImages

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