NMPF Statement on H5N1 Federal Aid to Assist Dairy Farmers

From NMPF President & CEO Gregg Doud:

“NMPF thanks Secretary Vilsack and federal leadership for effectively using their existing authorities to offer necessary assistance for dairy farmers as they meet the challenges of H5N1 in dairy cattle. Care for farm workers and animals is critical for milk producers, as is protecting against potential human health risks and reassuring the public.

“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.”

NMPF Statement on New Federal Travel and Test Order That Begins Today

From President & CEO Gregg Doud:

The crossover of this H5N1 virus from birds to dairy cattle has presented some extraordinary challenges to animal and human health regulators in Washington. Throughout my regular contact with Secretary Vilsack, Undersecretary Moffitt, and officials from FDA and other agencies in recent weeks, I have seen how leadership at USDA, FDA and other federal agencies is well-equipped to get us through this challenge.

As new rules on testing and travel take effect today, dairy farmers and their cooperatives are ready to support these efforts to protect animal health and guard against a potential human health risk. We have offered input to federal officials on how to help farmers implement these guidelines, and we will continue sharing feedback as these procedures are put into practice. We appreciate the around-the-clock efforts that federal and local authorities and experts, from USDA and other agencies to state officials and local veterinarians, have been making to get a new system up and running these past few days, and we are grateful for their dedication and commitment.

Biosecurity Top-of-Mind with HPAI

Biosecurity – what it is, and how to achieve it – is at the top of every dairy farmer’s mind as cases of Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (HPAI) have been found in dairy cattle in several states. Every farmer can take simple, but meaningful, steps to ensure a well-protected industry, said Karen Jordan, a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine, chairwoman of the National Dairy FARM Program’s animal care task force, and a member of NMPF’s Board of Directors, in a Dairy Defined Podcast released today.

“When you start trying to protect against organisms that you can’t see, that puts you in a whole different ballpark,” said Jordan, who also raises about 200 dairy cattle in Siler City, NC. “The bright side is, we’ve got a disease that we don’t have dead animals. We do have an economic disruption, severely. But this gives us an opportunity to really take a hard look at our farms and see what that biosecurity really needs to look like and then how we really enhance it.”

Jordan is joined in the podcast by NMPF’s Chief Science Officer, Jamie Jonker, who is leading NMPF’s HPAI response. The Dairy Defined podcast, you can find and subscribe to the podcast on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts and Amazon Music under the podcast name “Dairy Defined.”

Media outlets may use clips from the podcast on the condition of attribution to the National Milk Producers Federation.