FILE PHOTO- the Utah Department of Agriculture and Food have increased restrictions for bringing dairy cows into the state

TAYLORSVILLE – Officials with the Utah Department of Agriculture and Food have increased restrictions for bringing dairy cows into the state. Restrictions are in place to protect the health of Utah dairy herds.

The Utah Department of Agriculture and Food is carefully monitoring dairies bringing dairy cows into the state.

As of March 26, 2023, UDAF is requiring an inspection within seven days before bringing dairy cows in the state. It was 30 days before the change. The livestock must also have certificates of veterinary inspection that the dairy cows do not exhibit any symptoms of this new disease.

This restriction is in effect for the next 30 days. UDAF is especially cautious of lactating dairy cattle from Texas, Kansas, New Mexico, and any other states affected with the emerging cattle disease.

Certificates must also include a statement that there have been no signs of the emerging cattle disease in the herd.

UDAF officials said the cattle impacted by this disease are primarily older cows in mid-lactation, while dry cows (non-milk producing), heifers, and calves do not appear to be affected.

Symptoms of this disease include:

  • Decreased milk production
  • A sudden sharp drop in production with some severely impacted cows experiencing
  • thicker, concentrated, colostrum-like milk
  • A decrease in feed consumption
  • Abnormal tacky or loose feces
  • Low-grade fever

The USDA announced four herds affected by the emerging cattle disease have had detections of the Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (HPAI) virus. This virus is the same strain that has been circulating in wild birds in North America and affecting domestic poultry since 2022. It is unknown currently whether the virus is the only contributing cause of the cattle illness.

A file photo of dairy cows in Cache Valley.

Additional testing is currently being done on other suspect dairies to gather more data. At this time there is no known risk to public health. The affected dairy milk under the Pasteurized Milk Ordinance, will not be sold for human consumption.

All animals presented for slaughter will receive a thorough examination to ensure that only safe and wholesome products enter the food chain.

Veterinarians who suspect cases of this emerging disease should immediately report it to the state veterinarian’s office at 801-982-2235 or [email protected].

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