Dairy Herd Cleared of HPAI

The N.C. Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services has lifted the quarantine of a HPAI-positive dairy herd after serial testing was negative for the virus. This herd was the only HPAI-positive herd within the state and was directly linked to a dairy herd in Texas that was clinically affected and epidemiologically linked to the virus.

“North Carolina took a take-charge approach to the threat of HPAI in dairy cattle,” said Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler. “Once the disease in Texas was associated with spread to other states, our state veterinarian issued a stop-movement order to keep dairy cattle from affected herds from coming into the state. Even though this herd never exhibited clinical signs of HPAI, we tested them out of an abundance of caution. Since the positive test, we have worked with industry and our state and federal partners to inform consumers and protect the industry.”

Last week, North Carolina poultry achieved HPAI-free status from the World Organization for Animal Health. This designation means that the state can resume exports and international trade for poultry products for many countries.

“Although our state is not currently dealing with any HPAI cases, it is important that farmers continue to follow strict biosecurity and report animals with signs or symptoms of the virus to the Veterinary Division,” Troxler said. “Our state’s poultry and livestock industry combined accounts for 75 percent of North Carolina’s total agricultural production. It is important that we continue to monitor our farms, livestock, and poultry.”

It is important to note the FDA has no concern about the safety or availability of pasteurized milk products nationwide and USDA is confident that the meat supply is safe.

At the same time, the Wildlife Resources Commission (WRC) reports 24 cases of wild birds testing positive for the illness.

So far this year, NCWRC has confirmed 24 wild birds testing positive for Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (HPAI) in North Carolina. The species include a variety of waterfowl and raptor species including American green-winged teal, American white pelican, American wigeon, Canada goose, gadwall, lesser scaup, mallard, northern shoveler, redhead duck, wood duck and black vulture. These HPAI detections have occurred in counties across the state including Beaufort, Buncombe, Carteret, Dare, Hyde, Mecklenburg, Pamlico and Wayne.

If you find dead wild birds, especially five or more dead ones within a week, contact the N.C. Wildlife Helpline at 1-866-318-2401 (Monday-Friday, 8 am – 5 pm) or email at [email protected].

 Find more information about HPAI at https://www.ncagr.gov/divisions/veterinary/AvianInfluenza.