Biden Administration Unveils $200 Million Funding to Address Bird Flu Outbreaks Within Dairy Farms

By Madz Dizon

May 11, 2024 04:35 AM EDT

Biden Administration Unveils $200 Million Funding to Address Bird Flu Outbreaks Within Dairy Farms
Cows graze in a field at a dairy farm on April 26, 2024 in Petaluma, California.
(Photo : Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

US health and agriculture officials have announced a commitment of nearly $200 million in new spending and other initiatives to address the outbreak of bird flu in the nation's dairy cows. 

The outbreak has affected over 40 herds in nine states, and efforts are being made to track and contain the spread.

Biden Administration Allocates Funds to Combat Bird Flu Outbreaks Within Dairy Farms

The US Department of Health and Human Services announced that an additional $101 million has been allocated to support ongoing efforts to prevent, test, track, and treat animals and humans who may be at risk of the Type A H5N1 virus. 

According to AP, the Agriculture Department has allocated approximately $98 million to support individual farms in testing cattle and enhancing biosecurity measures. This funding aims to prevent the further spread of the virus.

Furthermore, officials have announced that dairy farmers will receive compensation for the decline in milk production caused by infected cattle. 

Compensation would be provided to dairy farmers and farm workers who choose to take part in a workplace study carried out by the USDA and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

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USDA Assures Control Amid Dairy Cow Infections

The recent increase in spending comes following the discovery of an avian bird flu virus in dairy cattle, along with a confirmed infection in a Texas dairy worker. The worker experienced a mild eye infection but has since recovered. 

According to the CDC, approximately 33 individuals have undergone testing, while an additional 260 individuals are currently under monitoring.

As of Friday, there have been confirmed infections in dairy cows in 42 herds across nine states. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack assured that the outbreak has not extended its reach.

Experts have reported that approximately 20% of retail milk samples from grocery stores across the country tested positive for remnants of the virus, according to the US Food and Drug Administration. 

READ MORE: AstraZeneca to Pull Out COVID-19 Vaccine Worldwide After Adverse Side Effect Admission

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