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NC Commissioner Troxler: HPAI in Dairy Herd UPDATE

The recent detection of high path avian influenza in a dairy herd in North Carolina serves as a reminder that farms, especially poultry farms, must remain vigilant in their biosecurity efforts.

  • Last week we got word from the National Veterinary Services Laboratory that high path avian influenza was detected in a dairy herd in the state, even though the cattle displayed no clinical symptoms.
  • In addition to North Carolina, we know there have been positive cases in dairy cattle in Texas, Kansas, Michigan, Idaho, New Mexico, Ohio and South Dakota (which was added last Friday, April 12).
  • Since March 26, the USDA lab has confirmed 26 positive cases in eight states.
  • We are working closely with our federal partners to continue to monitor this evolving situation, but it serves as an important reminder that high path avian influenza is still out there in the wild bird population, so it is still a significant threat to our poultry industry.
  • USDA is working to update recommendations for farmers, particularly as it relates to heightened biosecurity measures.
  • A couple of good biosecurity practices to consider involve limiting who is coming on and off a farm and sanitizing and cleaning equipment and farm vehicles.
  • I cannot stress enough that farmers and their workers need to be extra focused on following strong biosecurity protocols. It is a good thing to review those practices with anyone involved in your operation.
  • Finding this virus in dairy cows has brought new attention to this, but we know cows typically recover from this virus, poultry do not.
  • In 2024, two commercial turkey operations in Duplin and Lenior counties tested positive with HPAI as well as three backyard flocks located in Rowan and Guilford counties.
  • Since Jan. 1, 2022 there have been 240 wild bird samples that have tested positive in North Carolina for HPAI.
  • Altogether, since Jan. 1, 2022, 85.8 million birds in 48 states have been affected by HPAI.
  • North Carolina ranks No. 1 in the country for poultry and egg cash receipts at $9.2 billion and ranks No. 2 in turkey production.
  • So, we have a lot at stake in North Carolina when it comes to high path AI.
  • I am grateful for the strong partnership and collaboration we are seeing between state and federal agencies and the dairy industry. Everyone is working together on this.
  • I would also mention that FDA has no concern about the safety or availability of pasteurized milk nationwide, so consumer should feel confident in the milk supply.