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Cows to be tested for bird flu before appearing at fairs in Wisconsin

An outbreak of bird flu is affecting dairy cows in the U.S.
Charlie Neibergall
An outbreak of bird flu is affecting dairy cows in the U.S.

Cows to be shown at fairs in Wisconsin will need to be tested for bird flu.

Starting next week, farmers and clubs showing cattle at state fairs need to test their animals to make sure they're healthy for a week leading up to the fair.

That's specifically for lactating dairy cows since the bird flu virus can spread much more easily through unprocessed milk.

Darlene Konkle, a veterinarian with the Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection, says they're trying to ensure fairgrounds across the state won't be a breeding ground for the virus.

“So in Wisconsin, because we're coming up to a busy fair and exhibition season we wanted to provide a little more assurance or help to alleviate the risk a little bit, of having these lactating cows attending fairs and events," Konkle said.

While the virus just makes cows sick, it can be deadly to poultry and it's even been transferred to humans in a few rare cases.

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