Thursday, June 20, 2024

BISMARCK, N.D. – At the recent State Board of Animal Health meeting, the board issued an order requiring lactating dairy cattle to be tested for highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) within 10 days prior to being at the North Dakota State Fair. The board also strongly recommended that other fairs require testing as well. 

“Since late March, several states have had detections of highly pathogenic avian influenza in dairy cows,” Agriculture Commissioner Doug Goehring said. “Although North Dakota has not had any detections yet, the testing will help to minimize the potential for illness to spread.”

“Owners of lactating dairy cattle who are planning to bring their animals to the State Fair should contact their veterinarian, who will collect a sample,” State Veterinarian Dr. Ethan Andress said. “All costs related to the veterinarian, shipping, and lab testing by North Dakota State University will be reimbursed by the federal government.”

Fair and exhibition leadership are encouraged to review the fair guidance issued by the United States Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (USDA-APHIS), which may be found at

Biosecurity is the theme of the USDA guidance and includes developing protocols and policies for reducing the potential spread of not only HPAI but also other common contagious zoonotic disease-causing organisms that can affect both animal and human health. 

The federal order for HPAI mandatory interstate movement testing of lactating dairy cattle, issued on April 24, 2024, already requires lactating dairy animals used for exhibition be tested when crossing borders. 

Other information on HPAI detections in livestock may be found at

Up-to-date HPAI information from the North Dakota Department of Agriculture may be found at