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Michigan Agriculture Department Addresses HPAI Concerns

Michigan Agriculture Department Addresses HPAI Concerns

By Andi Anderson

Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (MDARD) Director Tim Boring is addressing concerns from both poultry and dairy producers regarding the spread of highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) in the state. With the virus already affecting seven Michigan dairy herds and numerous poultry facilities, which have had to cull millions of chickens and turkeys, there is growing urgency to implement effective measures.

Boring acknowledges the need for a comprehensive approach, recognizing the differing perspectives of poultry and dairy farmers. Poultry producers emphasize the importance of increased testing on cattle to limit the spread of HPAI, while dairy farmers express concerns about the feasibility of implementing new biosecurity measures within a short timeframe.

To address these concerns, MDARD is engaging in listening sessions with dairy and poultry producers as well as veterinarians to gather insights and ensure clarity in their approach. Boring emphasizes the importance of science-based strategies and acknowledges the ongoing learning process, particularly regarding the transmission of the virus.

The recent state biosecurity order, effective May 8, requires producers to designate a biosecurity manager, establish cleaning and disinfection protocols, and maintain a logbook of all individuals and vehicles entering their facilities. MDARD has provided guidance and a checklist to assist producers in implementing these measures.

Director Boring acknowledges these concerns and underscores the need for a balanced approach that addresses the risks of avian flu while minimizing unintended consequences for dairy production.

In a recent interview with Michigan Farm News, Director Boring further elaborated on these concerns and the department's efforts to address them, emphasizing the importance of collaboration and ongoing communication with stakeholders in the agricultural community.

Photo Credit: istock-peopleImages

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Categories: Michigan, Livestock, Poultry

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