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Highly pathogenic avian influenza impact report

by Wyoming Livestock Roundup

The Wyoming Department of Agriculture announced on June 7 highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) was detected in one of Wyoming’s dairy herds. Wyoming marks the 12th state with a reported case of the virus since the first confirmed case in March 2024. 

HPAI has now been detected in more than 80 herds nationwide. 

While agencies agree the threat to human health remains low and consuming pasteurized milk and properly cooked meat is safe, the economic impact of the disease in dairy herds can be significant.

Economic estimates from Michigan State University (MSU) Extension provide insight from a dairy producer in Michigan whose herd was infected with HPAI. Daily milk production decreased about five pounds during the first nine days of infection. 

By day 12 of the infection, each cow was producing about 21 pounds less than average. This equates to approximately $4.31 in losses for each animal daily, assuming a milk price of $20.50 per hundred weight. 

The MSU Extension report can be found at

Supportive measures such as buying medical supplies and increased labor costs due to sanitation and treatment of infected animals add to the economic impact of HPAI. The Michigan producer estimates total losses for his 500-head dairy operation were between $30,000 to $40,000 during the first 15 days of the infection. 

The long-term effects of the disease in terms of production and culling remain unknown.

The detection of HPAI in a Wyoming dairy herd is an economic challenge to the state’s dairy industry. The immediate decrease in production for infected herds directly affects farm revenue. Additional expenses for labor, medical supplies and sanitation measures further strain the financial stability of affected farms. 

As the situation evolves, understanding and mitigating the long-term effects of HPAI on dairy production and herd management will be critical for dairy producers’ bottom lines. 

For more information, contact a local University of Wyoming (UW) Extension Office or  UW Livestock Production and Marketing Specialist Rob Ziegler at

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