In the latest episode of Seen and Heard, Anja Raudabaugh, CEO of Western United Dairies, hosts Dr. Michael Payne to discuss the recent avian influenza outbreak and its surprising impact on dairy cows.

This episode dives into the unexpected mutation that has allowed avian influenza to infect cows, a phenomenon that has spread across 12 states and affected 90 farms. Dr. Payne underscores the severity of the situation, noting that dairy farmers have never been this concerned about a disease.

The conversation emphasizes the importance of robust biosecurity measures to prevent the spread of the virus. Dr. Payne provides practical advice for farmers, such as isolating new animals for 30 days, disinfecting equipment like trailers, and ensuring that employees maintain proper hygiene. This includes wearing designated coveralls and boots that stay on the farm to avoid cross-contamination from other farms or personal livestock.

Additionally, the episode addresses growing concerns about the effectiveness of pasteurization in killing the virus. Dr. Payne reassures listeners that the commercial milk supply is safe, citing comprehensive studies by the FDA, USDA, and NIH that found no live virus in commercial dairy products. He explains that while some studies have detected viral fragments, these are remnants of the virus killed during pasteurization and pose no threat to consumers.

Listeners are encouraged to stay informed and proactive in their biosecurity practices. For questions about this episode, please contact us at [email protected]

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