TAYLORSVILLE, Utah — Officials with the Utah Department of Agriculture and Food will be implementing increased restrictions to protect the health of Utah dairy herds. Starting immediately, March 26, 2023, and for the next 30 days, Certificates of Veterinary Inspection issued for the importation of lactating dairy cattle from Texas, Kansas, New Mexico, and other states affected with the emerging cattle disease, must be issued within seven days of transport. Certificates must also include a statement that there have been no signs of the emerging cattle disease in the herd. 

Cattle impacted by this disease are primarily older cows in mid-lactation, while dry cows (non-milk producing), heifers, and calves do not appear to be affected. Symptoms of this disease include: 

  • Decreased milk production
  • A sudden sharp drop in production with some severely impacted cows experiencing thicker, concentrated, colostrum-like milk
  • A decrease in feed consumption
  • Abnormal tacky or loose feces
  • Low-grade fever

The USDA has announced that four herds affected by the emerging cattle disease have had detections of the Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (HPAI) virus. This virus is the same strain that has been circulating in wild birds in North America and affecting domestic poultry since 2022. It is unknown at this time if this is the only contributing cause of the cattle illness. Additional testing is being conducted on other suspect dairies to gather additional data. 

There is no known risk to public health. Under the Pasteurized Milk Ordinance, abnormal milk is not allowed to be sold for human consumption. In addition, all animals presented for slaughter receive a thorough examination to ensure that only safe and wholesome products enter the food chain. 

Utah veterinarians who suspect cases of this emerging disease should immediately report it to the state veterinarian’s office at 801-982-2235 or statevet@utah.gov.