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NMPF Statement on H5N1 and Federal Order on Lactating Cows

ARLINGTON, VA  From NMPF President & CEO Gregg Doud:

Since this virus was first discovered in cows, H5N1 in dairy cattle has been primarily an animal health concern. Today’s announcements and actions underscore that continued concern and focus on the well-being of animals and those who care for them.

USDA, FDA and scientific research has established what accumulated science indicated all along: The consumer milk supply is safe. Pasteurization renders the H5N1 virus, like other viruses, inactive, an important reminder to consumers of its value as a basic safeguard for human health. We appreciate that these agencies are sharing this message, which will help alleviate any concerns consumers may have.

That said, the presence of this virus in dairy herds, as well as dairy farmers’ own commitment to animal and human health, makes USDA’s actions on testing and interstate travel appropriate. Dairy farmers stand ready to take a proactive approach to ensuring that we better understand the spread of the virus, do what we can to limit that spread, and ensure the health of our animals and workers.

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