H5N1 in Livestock


H5N1 is an emerging disease in Minnesota's dairy herds. The virus was first detected in June 2024 in a Benton County dairy herd. H5N1 is the same virus that causes highly pathogenic avian influenza in poultry. Spread of the virus between states is tied to cattle movements, and local spread appears to mostly be connected to infected milk and the virus being spread both directly and indirectly to other locations. The USDA is tracking the latest cases across the country and new epidemiological discoveries from the outbreak on its website. Biosecurity remains the strongest measure to prevent the spread of this and other diseases. The most reported clinical signs from affected herds are abnormal lactation, decreased feed consumption, and thickened or clotted milk. Producers should also lookout for the following and contact their veterinarian if cows exhibit these signs:

  • Decreased herd level milk production.
  • Sudden drop in production with some severely impacted cows experiencing thicker, concentrated, colostrum‐like milk.
  • Decrease in feed consumption with a simultaneous drop in rumen motility.
  • Abnormal tacky or loose feces.
  • Lethargy, dehydration, and fever.

H5N1 Detections



Producers should follow their site-specific biosecurity plan. Some important points include:

  • Separate all incoming animals for 21-30 days and screen for signs of disease before allowing them into your herd.
  • Milk imported animals last.
  • A Line of Separation and specific access points where staff or visitors cross the line.
  • A clean/dirty line at barn or parlor entries where staff or visitors can change into barn specific footwear or clothing and clean and disinfect. (This point is especially important if staff travel between different locations.)
  • Report clinical signs or suspected illnesses to your veterinarian immediately.
  • Know where you source your feed and keep rodents and wildlife away from stored feed. Keep feed covered or contained and clean any feed spills immediately.
  • Provide clean water and keep wildlife away from troughs.


Take Action on Influenza A

Use this mapping tool to enter your address and see if you are near a H5N1 positive county. The map also contains control zones for HPAI in poultry. View the map in fullscreen.