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Fighting Bird Flu: USDA to Provide Funding to Combat HPAI

Published on

May 16, 2024

This is an update to our April 25, 2024, alert titled “Bird Flu’s Current Opponent: Dairy.”

While the concern about Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (HPAI or H5N1) among the dairy industry at both the farm and food supply level grows as more herds test positive[1], the federal government has announced funding programs to help the dairy industry offset the cost of responding to the outbreak. The assistance includes a number of specific components that dairy farmers are encouraged to make use of if their premises are affected by H5N1.

  • Up to $2,000 per month per affected premises to supply personal protective equipment and/or uniform laundering to farm workers who facilitate participation of workers in a USDA/CDC farmworker study (workers may also be eligible for incentives to participate in the study)
  • Up to $1,500 per affected premises to develop biosecurity plans
  • $100 for producers who implement an in-line milk sampler
  • Up to $2,000 per affected premises per month for producers who implement a heat treatment program to deactivate the virus in waste milk before disposal
  • Up to $10,000 per affected premises for veterinary treatment and testing costs incurred after the date of the first positive confirmation of H5N1 at the premises
  • Actual shipping costs up to $50 up to twice per month for shipments of samples to the National Animal Health Laboratory Network (test costs are already no cost to producer)

The prevailing expert opinion remains that a swift response to outbreaks to control the spread of the HPAI among non-avian species is critical to avoiding a widespread human health concern. The U.S. Department of Agriculture assistance, when coupled with dairy cattle movement quarantines and testing requirements, is intended to encourage the dairy industry response to help reduce the spread of H5N1 (and the possible human mutation).

In addition, similar to indemnification payments for poultry producers, dairy producers may be eligible for compensation for the reduced production that is associated with affected cattle through the Emergency Assistance for Livestock, Honey Bees and Farm-raised Fish Program (ELAP).

If you have any questions about what financial assistance is available to help control the spread of H5N1 on your dairy farm, how to apply for production losses, or how to comply with dairy quarantines or testing requirements, please contact attorneys EmmaRose Strohl, Timothy Dietrich, Charmaine Nyman or any member of Barley Snyder’s Food & Agribusiness Industry Group.

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[1]As of the date of this Update, 42 dairy herds in Texas, Michigan, New Mexico, Kansas, Idaho, Colorado, Ohio, North Carolina and South Dakota, have tested positive for HPAI. Emerging methods of testing wastewater also suggest that the virus may be significantly more widespread. 


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