Animal Health Alerts

July 11, 2024
Please review the Tennessee State Veterinarian's guidance for exhibition organizers regarding lactating dairy cattle here.
Please review the Tennessee State Veterinarian's guidance for exhibitors of lactating dairy cattle here.

May 3, 2024
Dairy producers who need further clarification on the USDA order regarding the movement of dairy cattle through markets to slaughter under the Federal Order issued on April 24 can find information here.

Read the Tennessee State Veterinarian's updated requirements for movement of dairy cattle coming to Tennessee here.

  • Movement of cull lactating dairy cows from within Tennessee into Tennessee markets with the intent to go directly to slaughter from the market does not require pre-movement testing. Dairy cattle intended for slaughter must be sold to slaughter and remain in the slaughter chain.
  • Movement of lactating dairy cattle out of a Tennessee market to a slaughter facility in another state can move on a CVI or the approved Owner Shipper Statement. Dairy cattle intended for slaughter must be sold to slaughter and remain in the slaughter chain.
  • Lactating dairy cows coming into Tennessee directly to slaughter from an out-of-state farm or market do not need any test but must have either a CVI, VS 1-27, or the approved Owner Shipper Statement.
  • Intrastate movements of dairy cattle from one location in Tennessee to another in Tennessee do not require official documentation or testing. 
  • All lactating dairy cows must have a CVI and negative HPAI test within 7 days before import into Tennessee to a market or farm.

April 30, 2024 - Recent test results have identified the illness affecting older dairy cows in several states as highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI). Among the dairies whose herds are exhibiting symptoms, the majority of affected animals have recovered after isolation. This strain of the virus appears to have been initially introduced to these dairy herds through exposure to infected wild birds.

Although there have been no reported detections of HPAI in cattle in Tennessee, our Animal Health Division is closely monitoring the situation, collaborating with industry and federal partners, and working with veterinarians in Tennessee to collect reports of illness in cattle. Additionally, the State Veterinarian has issued updated requirements for movement of dairy cattle coming to Tennessee.

For procedures for HPAI testing to move healthy lactating dairy cows in Tennessee, click here.

USDA APHIS has enacted a federal order to require testing for interstate movement of dairy cattle nationwide. The order also requires laboratories and veterinarians to report positive Influenza A nucleic acid detection diagnostic results (e.g. PCR or genetic sequencing) and positive influenza A serology diagnostic results in livestock to USDA APHIS. Frequently asked questions and answers can be found here.

Pasteurized milk and dairy products are safe to consume due to routine testing and established protocols. Out of an abundance of caution, milk from sick cows is never allowed to enter the food supply.

The Centers for Disease Control also report that a person in Texas has tested positive for HPAI A (H5N1) virus after exposure to an affected dairy herd. The patient reported eye redness as their only symptom and they are recovering. This incident does not change the H5N1 bird flu human health risk assessment for the U.S. general public, which CDC considers to be low.

If you have additional questions, please contact the State Veterinarian's Office at (615) 837-5120 or USDA Animal ID Coordinator Billy Graham at (615) 210-0617.

Cattle owners are advised to practice strong biosecurity:
- Quarantine new animals for at least two weeks before introducing them to an established herd.
- Test animals before necessary movements.
- Minimize animal movements.
- Isolate sick cattle from the herd.

Cattle owners should also watch for clinical signs of illness including:
- Decreased herd-level milk production
- Acute sudden drop in milk production
- Decreased feed consumption/appetite
- Abnormal feces and/or fever

If cattle within your herd are showing signs of illness, please report these signs immediately to your local veterinarian, to the State Veterinarian’s Office at (615) 837-5120, or USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service at 1-866-536-7593.