Veterinary - HPAI Detections in Livestock

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USDA APHIS Issues Federal Order to Limit Spread of HPAI

On April 24, 2024, the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS), United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), issued a Federal Order to prevent the spread of Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (HPAI). HPAI is a contagious viral disease of domestic poultry and wild birds. HPAI is deadly to domestic poultry and can wipe out entire flocks within a matter of days. HPAI is a threat to the poultry industry, animal health, human health, trade, and the economy worldwide. In the US, HPAI has now been detected in dairy cattle. The Federal Order will go into effect April 29, 2024.

What does the Federal Order require?

  1. Mandatory testing for dairy cattle moving across state lines (interstate movement)

    All lactating dairy cattle moving out of North Carolina must have a negative test for Influenza A virus from an approved National Animal Health Laboratory Network Laboratory (NAHLN) and an Interstate Certificate of Veterinary Inspection (ICVI) or other official movement documentation approved by the origin and recipient State Animal Health Officials (SAHOs).  Rollins Lab in Raleigh, NC is a NAHLN laboratory. Note: Cattle moving directly to slaughter are exempt from the Influenza A testing requirement. 
    Owners of herds in which dairy cattle test positive will be required to provide epidemiological information, including animal movement tracing.
  2. Mandatory Reporting

    Laboratories and state veterinarians must report positive Influenza A nucleic acid detection diagnostic results (e.g. PCR or genetic sequencing) in livestock to USDA APHIS. 
    Laboratories and state veterinarians must report positive Influenza A serology diagnostic results in livestock to USDA APHIS.

What do lactating dairy cows need for interstate movement (to move out of North Carolina)?

Negative Influenza A milk sample results. The test results are valid for 7 days from the date of collection.
An ICVI or SAHO-approved official documentation with individual official animal identification.
No positive Influenza A tests from any lactating cattle on the premises in the past 30 days.

When are we required to comply with the Federal Order? 

Federal order is effective Monday, April 29, 2024.

What does a lactating dairy cow infected with Influenza A virus look like?

The USDA clinical case definition includes the following: infected cattle may be asymptomatic or symptomatic. Virus is predominantly found in milk and mammary tissue. 
Clinical signs may include: decreased feed consumption with a simultaneous decrease in rumination; respiratory signs including clear nasal discharge; and subsequent acute drop in milk production. Additional signs may include abnormal tacky or loose feces, lethargy, dehydration, and fever. Severely affected cattle may have thicker, concentrated, colostrum-like milk or produce no milk at all.  

Will USDA pay for the required movement testing?

USDA APHIS will cover the cost of testing animals at the NAHLN laboratories. USDA APHIS will not cover the costs of collecting or shipping samples.

Can lactating dairy cows affected with HPAI move directly to slaughter? 

NO: Clinical lactating dairy cattle are ineligible for interstate movement or movement to slaughter.

What about lactating dairy cows not affected with HPAI moving directly to slaughter?

Movement from a NC premise (farm or market) across state lines directly to a packer requires an ICVI or SAHO-approved official documentation, but does not require a negative Influenza A test.

Cattle may move to a NC market from a NC farm without a CVI or negative influenza A test.

Do beef or non-lactating dairy cows have to be tested?

NO: Beef cattle and non-lactating dairy cattle (heifers, dry cows, and bull calves) are not currently subjected to the Federal Order.

North Carolina to South Carolina Direct-to-Slaughter

The National Assembly of State Animal Health Officials (NASAHO) continues to work to obtain a consensus regarding a movement document and stipulations for direct-to-slaughter lactating dairy cattle crossing state lines without pre-movement testing as approved by USDA APHIS. This interstate direct-to-slaughter movement does not require testing, but does require official individual identification (such as 840 RFID tags or back tags) recorded on a document approved by both the origin and destination State Animal Health Officials (SAHOs), such as an ICVI or other approved document.

The South Carolina State Veterinarian, Dr. Michael Neault, has approved movements from NC to SC for direct-to-slaughter movements as of May 1, 2024. The following document is approved for NC to SC direct-to-slaughter movements.

NC to SC Direct to Slaughter Movement Document (May 2024)

Georgia has also approved movement from NC to GA for direct-to-slaughter movements as of May 8, 2024. The following document is approved for NC to GA direct-to-slaughter movements.

NC to GA Director to Slaughter Movement Document (May 2024)

Please note that any animal moving across state lines for any reason other than slaughter will require premovement testing as described by USDA APHIS. Additionally, please be aware that this movement document and guidance is current as of today and will be updated frequently. As new documents are released, previous documents will become obsolete and unofficial.

Testing Dairy Cattle for Influenza A

Testing Dairy Cattle for Influenza A

Veterinarian Field Guide for Premovement Testing

Dairy Cattle at Livestock Exhibitions

On April 29, 2024, USDA mandated several federal requirements for interstate movement of dairy cattle.

  • Lactating dairy cattle are required to receive a negative test for Influenza A virus at an approved National Animal Health Laboratory Network (NAHLN) laboratory using a NAHLN-approved assay.
  • Negative test result must be within 7 days of movement.
  • Animals may travel to their home herd using the same negative test result provided the exhibition, show, or sale does not exceed 10 days of length.
  • Movement must be accompanied by an Interstate Certificate of Veterinary Inspection (ICVI)

NCDA’s Recommendations to Minimize Influenza Transmission at Livestock Exhibitions

Additional information

For more information on HPAI Detections in Livestock please visit the USDA APHIS website:  Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (HPAI) Detections in Livestock | Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (
One-page printable FAQ reference document on the federal order.
For information on HPAI in poultry:  Veterinary - Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (HPAI) | NC Agriculture
For information on biosecurity from the National Milk Producers Federation:  Biosecurity Resources - NMPF
For CDC information on H5N1 and preventing infections in people:  Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza A(H5N1) Virus in Animals: Interim Recommendations for Prevention, Monitoring, and Public Health Investigations | Avian Influenza (Flu) (
For FDA information on the safety of the nation’s milk and dairy products:  Updates on Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (HPAI) | FDA and here Questions and Answers Regarding Milk Safety During Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (HPAI) Outbreaks | FDA
For USDA updates and information on the safety of the nation’s beef supply and ongoing research updates: Updates on H5N1 Beef Safety Studies | Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (
For dairy specific biosecurity resources: Biosecurity – Secure Milk Supply Plan
For EPA’s list of disinfectants effective against Avian Influenza: EPA’s Registered Antimicrobial Products Effective Against Avian Influenza [List M] | US EPA

This page was last modified on 06/05/2024