Grassley Urges Better Data Reporting on Bird Flu in Dairy Cows

A U.S. Senator agrees with a news report that federal agencies aren’t sharing avian flu test results from dairy cows fast enough, which could allow further spread of the disease in cows and possibly to humans.

Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley says in response to a Washington Post story critical of bird flu testing in cows and sharing of results that mandating more testing of millions of cows would be hard. But as for faster sharing of results among USDA, FDA, and the Centers for Disease Control, and with the public, he says, “With the testing and when you have it, and with that sharing not going on now, I think that we ought to be very aggressive, making sure that all information.”

Grassley adds, “I talked to people at Iowa State University College of Veterinary Medicine on this point, when this was first discovered in dairy cattle and at that point, the laboratories still didn’t know all they needed to know about avian flu in cattle, but what they know or don’t know, at least what we do know, it ought to be mandatory for sharing worldwide.

Grassley says USDA should compel faster reporting to help limit the spread of bird flu already detected in unpasteurized milk but killed by pasteurization.

USDA’s APHIS just ordered testing of dairy cattle before they’re moved interstate and reporting by owners of cows that test positive. USDA says the order is critical to better understand the disease that so far hasn’t shown the mutations needed to spread more easily to and between humans.

Story courtesy of NAFB News Service and Matt Kaye/Berns Bureau Washington

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