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Steady Consumer Confidence, Strong Federal Backing Highlight H5N1 Response

June 2, 2024

U.S. dairy farmers and their cooperatives continued adjusting to new federal rules for interstate dairy cattle movement in the second full month of response to H5N1, as FDA reaffirmed milk’s safety and consumer sales saw little effect of the outbreak on buyer behavior.

USDA on May 30 announced an $824 million investment to ensure the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) can continue its work with state and local partners to identify and address cases of H5N1 in livestock and poultry. The funds will support diagnostics, field response activities, pre-movement testing requirements, surveillance and control activities, vaccine development and food safety studies.

The most recent round of assistance followed earlier federal moves to address the challenge posed by H5N1. USDA on May 10 announced new support to bolster farm biosecurity, boost worker safety and ease costs associated with testing for farms affected by H5N1. Farms affected by the virus also became eligible for indemnity payments through USDA’s Emergency Assistance for Livestock, Honey Bees and Farm-raised Fish Program. That financial assistance was expanded on May 23, helping farmers make investments to keep their herds and workers healthy and reduce the risk of virus spread.

NMPF applauded the moves, thanking USDA for effectively using its existing authority to offer necessary assistance for dairy farmers as they meet the challenges of H5N1 in dairy cattle. “We look forward to continued collaboration and consultation with USDA and other federal agencies as we monitor, understand, and contain this outbreak, and we will do what we can to help dairy farmers understand and benefit from these initiatives as swift implementation is put into motion,” Gregg Doud, NMPF president and CEO said in a May 10 statement.

USDA’s announcements came as investigators identified the second and third human cases of H5N1 linked to the outbreak in dairy cattle. With more cases in cattle, and potentially more human cases, expected, NMPF is continuing communication with the entire dairy supply chain while informing its members of the latest developments and needs via member alerts, webinars and other media.

Visit for more information and a full listing of H5N1 and biosecurity-related resources.