Democratic Lawmakers Request Support to Prevent Spread of Avian Flu in Colorado’s Dairy Industry

Democratic Lawmakers Request Support to Prevent Spread of Avian Flu in Colorado's Dairy Industry Legisladores demócratas solicitan apoyo para evitar propagación de gripe aviar en industria lechera de Colorado Quarantine in Greeley Dairies due to Avian Influenza Cuarentena en lecheras de Greeley por gripe aviar

IN COLORADO | Biosecurity protocols are implemented to protect both animals and workers. (Photo/EFE)


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The Democratic delegation of Colorado in Congress, led by Representative Yadira Caraveo, has requested that U.S. Secretary of Agriculture, Tom Vilsack, provide support and coordinate a federal response to address the outbreak of highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) affecting dairy cattle in Colorado.

In a letter addressed to Vilsack, Caraveo and her colleagues emphasized the need for additional resources so that Colorado’s dairy farms can effectively respond to the outbreak and manage the increasing biosecurity needs and economic losses.

Coordinated Response

The legislators highlighted that the spread of this strain to dairy cattle is a public health concern and a producer issue. “Colorado dairy farms require resources to effectively respond to the outbreak and address biosecurity needs and economic losses,” the legislators stated.

The Colorado Democrats in Congress, including Senators Michael Bennet and John Hickenlooper, and Representatives Diana DeGette, Jason Crow, and Brittany Pettersen, have supported the letter, underscoring the importance of a coordinated response to face this public health challenge.

Four Confirmed Cases in Dairy Cattle

The HPAI outbreak has alarmed the state’s dairy industry, which has already seen confirmed cases in four dairies in northeastern Colorado. These dairies are under quarantine to prevent the spread of the virus, which has affected between 5 and 10 percent of the dairy cows in the affected herds.

The federal government has established close collaboration between the USDA and state agencies to provide the resources needed to contain the disease and respond to production losses. This effort is essential to maintaining the economic and health security of families and workers in Colorado’s dairy industry.

Biosecurity Measures

Maggie Baldwin, Colorado’s State Veterinarian, explains that constant surveillance is in place and biosecurity protocols are implemented to protect both animals and workers. Baldwin, however, emphasized that the commercial milk supply remains safe thanks to pasteurization.

Dairy workers must follow strict safety protocols to prevent contagion, including the use of protective clothing and disinfecting areas in contact with cows. These efforts are crucial to controlling the spread of avian flu and protecting public health.

Attention to Livestock Fairs

With the arrival of fair season, the Colorado Department of Agriculture (CDA) and the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) are implementing the “One Health” response, which includes surveillance, testing, coordination, and guidance regarding the movement of dairy cattle and quarantine measures.

Read the letter from the Colorado Democratic delegation in the Federal Congress.

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