Dairy Cattle & Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (HPAI)

USDA Expanded Support for Producers and Recommendations to Minimize Influenza Transmission at Dairy Cattle Livestock Exhibitions

May 31, 2024 - The United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) announced expanded support for producers to help stop the spread of HPAI in dairy cattle, including for producers who do not have a herd that has tested positive. This support equips producers with tools they can use to keep their herds and workers healthy and reduce the risk of the virus spreading to additional herds. These financial options include supporting biosecurity planning and implementation; reimbursing producers for veterinary costs associated with sample collection for H5N1 testing, and offsetting shipping costs for influenza testing at laboratories in the National Animal Health Laboratory Network. Maine DACF is working to message producers directly with more specifics on the financial support program.

USDA APHIS also posted recommendations to minimize influenza transmission at dairy cattle livestock exhibitions. The recommendations reiterate the need for lactating animals moving interstate to an exhibition or show must have a negative test result from samples collected within seven days of movement. No cases have been detected in Maine livestock to date. Should there be an HPAI cattle detection in the state, we will reevaluate and adjust movement and testing recommendations related to events.

According to USDA and the FDA, pasteurized milk, dairy products, and meat remain safe to consume as pasteurization and cooking kill harmful microbes and pathogens in animal products. Maine DACF reminds dairy cattle producers, exhibition organizers, exhibitors, and others to check the USDA APHIS website and the Dairy Cattle and HPAI : Division of Animal and Plant Health: Maine DACF. There are additional resources available on the Maine DACF Animal Health page.

Important News for Dairy Farmers, Cattle Haulers, Veterinarians, and Others Involved the movement of Dairy Cattle

CVI Requirements

As noted in the APHIS Requirements and Recommendations for Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (HPAI) H5N1 Virus in Livestock, dairy cattle moving direct to slaughter on a CVI must have individual official identification recorded.

USDA’s final rule on Use of Electronic Identification Eartags as Official Identification in Cattle and Bison was released in April, 2024. During this transition window over the next 180 days metal, non-electronic identification (EID) tags for animal identification will continue to be allowed, but soon only RFID tags as the official eartag for use in interstate movement of cattle will be allowed.

DACF Animal Health can provide producers, veterinarians, and others with RFID tags for cattle. Before we can send tags, a Premises Identification Number (PIN, also commonly called a "Prem ID") is required. A PIN is a unique code that is permanently assigned to a single physical location.

Setup PIN Request RFID Tags


On May 23, 2024, USDA released support options to include dairy producers whose herds have not tested positive for H5N1. Financial support will be available to:

  • Support biosecurity planning and implementation
  • Reimburse producers for veterinary costs associated with sample collection for H5N1 testing.
  • Offset shipping costs for influenza A testing at laboratories in the National Animal Health Laboratory Network.

More information is available here: USDA, HHS Announce New Actions to Reduce Impact and Spread of H5N1 | USDA.

Please note that we don’t yet have specifics from USDA on accessing this funding. As we receive additional information we will be sure to post it here. Feel free to reach out to us using the contact information at the bottom of this page.

More Resources from USDA

Testing & Reporting in Cattle

Human Health

Farm Biosecurity Practices

Farm Biosecurity Plans

Wildlife Management to Protect Against HPAI

Do you have questions or concerns about HPAI in dairy cattle?

If your concern is about the health of an animal or the implementation of the federal order:

If your concern is about food safety:

If your concern is about access to funding or resources or anything else: