Bird flu found in North Carolina dairy cows

RALEIGH, N.C. (WITN) – The bird flu has now been found in North Carolina’s dairy herd.

The Department of Agriculture & Consumer Services didn’t say where in the state the dairy cows were located.

North Carolina now joins Texas, Kansas, Michigan, Idaho, New Mexico, and Ohio with states where the HPAI has been detected in dairy herds.

Agriculture officials say the movement of cattle from affected herds in these states to North Carolina has been suspended.

“We have spent years developing methods to handle HPAI in poultry, but this is new and we are working with our state and federal partners to develop protocols to handle this situation,” says Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler. “It is important to note the FDA has no concern about the safety or availability of pasteurized milk products nationwide.”

Troxler says finding bird flu in cows is “an evolving situation.” He said the state is waiting on more information from the National Veterinary Services Laboratories and will work with North Carolina dairy farmers and the federal government on ways to contain the spread of bird flu.

The Department of Health and Human Services said this afternoon that there was no concern for the safety of the commercial milk supply since products are pasteurized.

In 2022, nearly 400,000 chickens and turkeys were destroyed at farms in Wayne and Johnston counties after an outbreak of bird flu at poultry farms.