US farm agency to pay farmers for milk loss due to avian influenza

Bird flu has infected 132 dairy herds in 12 states
calendar icon 28 June 2024
clock icon 1 minute read

The US Department of Agriculture will soon begin compensating dairy farmers for the loss of milk supply due to bird flu-infected cows, Reuters reported, citing the agency on Thursday.

Bird flu has infected 132 dairy herds in 12 states since March. Farmers with infected cows can suffer financial losses from reduced milk production and the cost of veterinary care.

Though the overall US milk market has not been negatively affected by the spread of the virus, "to the individual producer, it's difficult and devastating," Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack told reporters on a call.

The funding will compensate farmers with sick cows for 90% of lost milk production per cow, the agency said. Applications for the funding will open on July 1.

The USDA is working with states to research how the virus spreads among cows and is also in talks with two dozen companies over production of a bovine vaccine for bird flu.

Spread of the virus among cattle heightens the risk of infection in humans, though the risk to the public from the virus is low, federal officials have said. Three dairy farm workers have contracted avianflu since March, and all recovered after experiencing mild symptoms.

© 2000 - 2024 - Global Ag Media. All Rights Reserved | No part of this site may be reproduced without permission.