Breaking: Texas and Kansas Report Bird Flu in Cows at Dairies

U.S. officials announced on Monday that milk obtained from cows used for dairy in Texas and Kansas had tested positive for bird flu. The type A H5N1 strain of the virus, which has caused outbreaks in birds for decades and occasionally infected humans, has been confirmed by the Texas Animal Health Commission. 

Officials in Minnesota reported last week that bird flu had been diagnosed in a baby goat at a farm after an outbreak of the virus among poultry. This marks the first incidence of highly pathogenic avian influenza in U.S. farmed animals other than birds.

About three weeks ago, cattle in Texas started getting sick with a condition officials called a “mystery dairy cow disease,” according to Texas Department of Agriculture commissioner Sid Miller. As a result, milk production dropped significantly, and the cows became sluggish and lost their appetite.

The state’s animal health commission initiated an investigation, which involved testing for bird flu. Samples of milk from sick cows were collected from two dairy farms in Kansas and one in Texas. Bird flu was discovered in the samples. The USDA has called it “a rapidly evolving situation.” 

“Two states so far have confirmed the presence of bird flu in dairy milk, and a third is investigating. We must not wait for a public health catastrophe. Mercy For Animals calls on Congress to pass the Industrial Agriculture Accountability Act, legislation that would require corporations to take responsibility for the pandemic risks they cause. Reforming the U.S. food system is critical to reducing suffering for farmed animals and protecting human health.”

—Frances Chrzan, Senior Federal Policy Manager, Mercy For Animals

Your voice matters. Do your part for animals by contacting your members of Congress and urging them to support the IAA and help countless farmed animals.