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MDARD Director Praises USDA Actions to Protect Livestock Health from Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza

Michigan producers are strongly encouraged to follow federal guidance & increase all biosecurity measures to reduce risks of further spreading HPAI

Lansing, MI - As highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI), continues to impact livestock across the U.S., Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (MDARD) Director Dr. Tim Boring reminds all Michigan producers to read and follow USDA's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) Federal Order requiring mandatory reporting and testing for any dairy cows being transported from one farm to another across state lines.

"USDA's recent federal order takes important steps to minimize the spread of HPAI and enhance detection capability of the virus. As Michigan producers implement these federal measures, we will be better positioned to understand, respond to, and manage this outbreak," said MDARD Director Boring. "Ongoing detections in Michigan on both dairy and poultry farms underscore how we can all do more."

Biosecurity is Michigan's best tool to prevent the ongoing spread of this virus that appears to be moving from dairy farms to other dairy farms and poultry farms. MDARD is evaluating additional steps that can be taken beyond USDA s federal order, including but not limited to additional biosecurity practices, to further mitigate virus spread in Michigan.

It remains critical that producers conduct risk assessments of biosecurity vulnerabilities. Travel between farms should be minimized however possible and aggressive biosecurity measures in place on farms for essential movement functions. Individuals should be utilizing personal protective equipment and ensuring sanitization before entering facilities. Vehicles and equipment should be cleaned and disinfected before moving off the farm. As always, wild birds should be kept away from livestock and their feed and water sources.

At this time, the public health risk associated with HPAI remains low.  According to the USDA APHIS, the Food and Drug Administration, and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the commercial milk supply remains safe due to federal animal health requirements and pasteurization. Federal experts continue to stress there is no concern about the safety of the commercial milk supply or that this circumstance poses any increased risk to consumer health.

"As we learn more about this HPAI outbreak, we're preparing to use every tool at our disposal to combat this virus while working with and supporting our industry partners," added Boring. "Thanks to recent budget investments, MDARD is well poised to engage in this response properly. However, as this outbreak evolves, we must be prepared at every level to respond quickly and efficiently. We're all on the same team as we combat HPAI."  

MDARD continues diligently working with local, state, and federal partners to quickly respond to reports of HPAI, mitigate the spread of the disease, and provide outreach.   

To read the full APHIS Federal Order, click here.  

Additional resources can also be found at


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