In response to recent news that there have been new cases of Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (HPAI) detected in poultry, cattle, and other livestock this year, Congresswoman Michelle Fischbach urges diligence for producers to ensure the disease is contained. 

If you are a consumer, know that this disease presents a very low risk to the public and does not pose a food safety risk. The products you find on grocery store shelves are nutritious and safe regardless of this outbreak. Consuming pasteurized milk and correctly cooked meat is safe since both practices kill the virus. It has been noted that individuals handling or consuming raw milk are at higher risk of acquiring the disease.

If you are a consumer, you can find more information on the health impacts of HPAI at the Center for Disease Control and Prevention website

If you are a producer, there are resources available to you to prepare and respond to an outbreak. Please visit the USDA website and the Minnesota Board of Animal Health website to follow updates and learn about their resources.

In the meantime, it is advised you take these steps:

  1. Limit interactions with wildlife to your livestock,
  2. Implement biosecurity control measures for outside disease vectors like pests (skunks, foxes, etc.) and wild birds,
  3. Clean and disinfect everything,
  4. Remain cautious over changes in behavioral patterns and mortality rates of your flock, and
  5. Review and update security protocols.

As always, do not hesitate to reach out to my office if my staff and I can be helpful.