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The actions we take now will determine whether the highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) H5N1 outbreak already affecting birds and mammals around the world takes hold in humans. (AP Photo/Erin Hooley)

An ounce of prevention: Now is the time to take action on H5N1 avian flu, because the stakes are enormous

Our approach to combating pandemics must shift to one that prioritizes prevention of human infections with zoonotic viruses, rather than focusing on rapid response once human infection is widespread.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture has confirmed that dairy cows in nine states have been infected with bird flu in 2024. U.S. Department of Agriculture

Bird flu detected in Colorado dairy cattle − a vet explains the risks of the highly pathogenic avian influenza virus

A veterinarian and epidemiologist who studies infectious diseases in dairy cows discusses the outbreak, how cows recover and what the government is doing to keep the milk supply safe.
Strong evidence suggests the risk associated with consuming milk contaminated with H5N1 influenza virus is minimal. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

U.S. has found H5N1 flu virus in milk — here’s why the risk to humans is likely low

H5N1 influenza has been reported in dairy cows, and detected in milk. Here’s a look at what’s known about how pasteurization affects the virus and the safety of consuming H5N1-contaminated milk.
Cows typically get over avian flu in a couple of weeks, but it’s an economic blow for farms. AP Photo/Charlie Litchfield

How bird flu virus fragments get into milk sold in stores, and what the spread of H5N1 in cows means for the dairy industry and milk drinkers

Five livestock experts who study infectious diseases in the dairy industry explain the risks.
Dairy cows in the Fraser Valley, B.C. (Evan Bowness)

Milk without the cow: Cellular agriculture could be the future of farming, but dairy farmers need help

Technological changes on the horizon will likely disrupt the dairy industry as we know it — plans to mitigate the risks this transition poses to farmer livelihoods and animal welfare should start now.
A rural advocacy group in New Zealand wants milks made from plants, such as almond or rice milk, called juices. from www.shutterstock.com

Almonds don’t lactate, but that’s no reason to start calling almond milk juice

New Zealand’s dairy industry is arguing consumers are being misled if the term “milk” is used for plant-based products such as almond or coconut milk, but consumers are savvier than that.
Canada’s dairy industry is being increasingly put at risk in trade negotiations. A visit to a Canadian dairy farm illuminates why the industry should be protected. (Shutterstock)

In defence of Canada’s dairy farmers

Countries that have phased out supply management systems in the dairy industry have seen an initial spike in production, then a steady decline. That’s why Canada should protect its dairy farmers.
Cooling dairy cows with fans and misters at Pacheco Dairy in Kerman, Calif., during a heat wave in 2006. AP Photo/Gary Kazanjian

Heat is a serious threat to dairy cows – we’re finding innovative ways to keep them cool

Dairy cows are sensitive to heat, so farmers cool them down with sprinklers and fans. Researchers are designing better, more efficient systems to keep cows comfortable through hot California summers.

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