Updated biosecurity protocols have been announced for dairy cattle at the Missouri State Fair. According to the state Department of Agriculture, all lactating dairy cattle must have a negative H5N1 influenza test within seven days prior to arrival at the fairgrounds.

Lactating cows have to be milked on personal milking machines as the milking parlor at the Fairgrounds will not be available for exhibiting cattle.

“These health requirements are in place for the 2024 Missouri State Fair in an effort to protect the dairy industry and all of agriculture,” said Missouri State Veterinarian Dr. Steve Strubberg. “There have been no cases of H5N1 influenza detected in Missouri dairy cattle. Still, we want to operate in a manner of caution while allowing dairy exhibitors the opportunity to show their animals.”

According to Missouri Department of Agriculture guidance, testing lactating dairy cows must be completed at a National Animal Health Laboratory Network diagnostic lab. Examples include the MDA Animal Health Laboratory in Springfield or the University of Missouri Veterinary Medical Diagnostic Laboratory in Columbia, with samples sent in by an accredited veterinarian.

There will be no lab charges for the test and the results can be reported upon arrival to the Fair with a lab report or on the Certificate of Veterinary Inspection document. Samples must be collected within seven days of arriving at the state fairgrounds in Sedalia.

“The dairy cattle show is an important and historical part of the Missouri State Fair,” Strubberg added. “We want to do everything possible to continue the tradition of exhibiting dairy cattle at the Fair, while also maintaining healthy, safe dairy herds.”

Fair and state agricultural officials are being extra careful to help prevent spreading the H5N1 influenza virus from one herd to another. Fair staff will be working with exhibitors to collect and properly dispose of the milk, which will not enter the food supply.

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