New rules require testing for bird flu of dairy cattle in fairs, exhibitions

Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Mike Naig announced new avian flu testing requirements on Tuesday, June 25, for dairy cattle in Iowa fairs and exhibitions.

Dairy exhibitors will be required to test for avian flu in dairy cattle within seven days of moving to an exhibition, starting in July.

“Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza isn’t just a poultry issue or a dairy issue, it’s an issue for all of agriculture,” Naig said in a news release. “We should expect additional challenges ahead and as the situation continues to evolve, we will also continue to evaluate our response.”

Following detections in dairy cattle on June 7, all dairy herds within 20 kilometers of an infected poultry farm must be tested for bird flu.

As of last Tuesday, there have been 11 cases of bird flu in dairy cattle in June, primarily in Sioux County.

Naig also called on the U.S. Department of Agriculture to provide more resources to farmers impacted by avian flu and thanked Iowa farmers for their help and understanding.

The USDA also announced on June 25 it is launching a pilot program in four states for voluntary testing for bird flu of bulk milk tanks at dairies.