Q. Does WVDL provide PCR testing for HPAI/BIAV in cattle?

  • WVDL-Madison runs the standard PCR testing for HPAI/BIAV in cattle on milk for pre-movement of lactating cows, or nasopharyngeal swabs for non-lactating cows. WVDL-Barron does not perform this test, and can help arrange shipment to Madison laboratories, but please note expected delay resulting from shipping time. See more information below on milk sample collection.
  • Testing non-lactating healthy animals is not required at this time. If testing is needed, nasopharyngeal swabs samples should be collected and submitted for PCR testing. Non-wooden shafted swabs should be used for collection and should be submitted in vial transport media or in a red top tube with 1-3 ml of saline. Dry swabs will not be tested.


Q. Does WVDL provide serology testing for HPAI/BIAV in cattle?

  • WVDL anticipates approval to offer HPAI/BIAV in cattle serological testing in the coming weeks at both locations (Barron and Madison), but at this time it is not covered as part of the Federal Order.


Q. Are animals tested individually? Or can milk samples be pooled from multiple animals?

  • DO NOT POOL INDIVIDUAL SAMPLES. Pooling will occur at the lab.
  • For healthy animal testing (movement or surveillance), WVDL will pool up to 5 milks/pool for PCR testing. Animals will not be tested individually.
  • For animals with clinical signs (FADI), animals will be tested individually.
  • Samples pooled prior to arrival at the lab will not be covered under the Federal Order and will be subject to a testing fee.


Q. What are the milk collection instructions?

  • Collect milk/udder secretions from individual cows. Ensure each quarter is sampled. Combine the milk from each quarter into one sample.
  • Submit between 3-10 ml of milk per animal.
  • Use a milk vial (same as milk culture vial) making sure to lock the lid down or a screw cap leak proof tube.
  • Refrigerate and send on ice.
  • It’s acceptable to freeze the milk sample(s) prior to shipping, but it is preferable to refrigerate at 4°C.
  • For groups/lots of 30 or fewer animals moving interstate, all animals being moved must be tested. If more than 30 animals are moving interstate, then only 30 randomly selected animals total must be tested.
  • All cattle must have individual official identification. The individual official identification must be provided on the submission form. Forms of US official animal identification can be found here.
  • Only animal testing is covered: please do not send by-products, bulk or pooled milks, or other products for testing.
  • Sample collection date is required.
  • Sample collection and testing must take place no more than seven (7) days prior to interstate movement.

Q. If the cow is being dried up but is still lactating, what is the minimum amount of milk you need for testing?

  • If the cow is “dry,” she is exempt. If she is still milking, the requirement is the same as all lactating cows, between 3-10 ml of milk per animal.


Q. If something happens during transportation of the milk samples to the lab, can the laboratory test warm milk samples?

  • Yes, however please pack shipping container with ice packs to avoid samples warming.
  • Also, make sure milk sample vials are in their own zipper-locking bag and the paperwork for the samples are in a separate zipper-locking bag.


Q. Can the WVDL test colostrum or transition milk?

  • Guidelines are the same as above for colostrum and transition milk.
  • Only animal testing is covered: please do not send milk by-products, bulk or pooled milks, composite samples, or other products for testing.


Q. What are the submission instructions?

  • Please use the WVDL Bovine Influenza A submission form, found here. All the required information must be provided to utilize the APHIS covered testing.
  • Premises ID is required for this testing. Premises ID is printed on the Milk Producer License. It can be found in the middle of the license titled “Livestock Premises Code”. Wisconsin Livestock Identification Consortium (WLIC) can be contacted for help with your Premises ID: (888) 808-1910.
  • The WVDL test code for PCR testing of HPAI/BIAV in cattle is AIMATRXPCR, which is marked on the Bovine Influenza A submission form.
  • The individual animal official identification must be provided on the submission form.
  • Sample collection date is required.
  • Samples should be sent or dropped off at the WVDL-Madison Laboratory during normal business hours. Samples sent to WVDL-Barron Laboratory will experience delays to testing.
  • If a larger number of samples (>100) are to be submitted, please contact the lab ahead of shipment to provide advance notice.
  • Expedited requests may not be honored due to anticipated of high-volume, and expedited costs are not covered.
  • The test will be at NO COST to clients if all sample collection, proper paperwork, and shipping recommendations are followed.


Q. What do I do if the dairy producer does not know their premises ID or does not have a premises ID?

  • Contact Wisconsin Livestock Identification Consortium (WLIC) at (888) 808-1910 or visit: https://wiid.org/.
  • WLIC has an on-line registration process for state premises ID.
  • WLIC business hours are M-F 8:00 am to 4:00 pm.


Q. What is the Turn-around Time (TAT) for this testing?

  • Results for samples submitted will be returned within 1-3 days.
  • Due to the expected high caseload, expedited testing request is not preferred. Clients should plan to submit samples early to ensure enough time to receive results prior to movement.
  • Expedited testing may not be an option.
  • The expedited fee will not be covered by APHIS. Clients will need to pay for the established fee for that and TAT may depend on sample case load.
  • If any sample is non-negative, it undergoes confirmatory testing at NVSL, which is usually completed within an additional 1-3 days.


Q. Does the WVDL have after-hours drop-off capability for milk samples?

  • The current business hours are in place, including Saturday (WVDL-Madison location only) from 9 am to 1 pm.


Q. If one or more milk samples tested non-negative, who will notify the submitting veterinarian of the results?

  • Veterinarians will receive the results via official WVDL reporting.
  • DATCP will be notified by WVDL, thus submitting veterinarian may receive additional notification from DATCP.
  • Results will be messaged to NVSL.
  • Laboratories and state veterinarians must report positive Influenza A nucleic acid
    detection diagnostic results. Sample must be forwarded to NVSL for confirmatory testing.


Q. If I am working at a livestock market and I have to fill out a CVI for lactating cows going interstate, is it okay to use the livestock market’s premises ID number when sending milk samples to the WVDL for testing?

  • At this time, we do not have guidance on the use of a livestock market’s premises ID.


Q. What is the definition for suspect herds/sick animals? 

  • Briefly, dairy cattle may experience a sudden drop in feed intake, a marked drop in herd level milk production with some more severely affected cows having thickened milk or may have essentially no milk, or respiratory signs including clear nasal discharge.
  • Suspect cattle may also include exposed cattle showing no clinical signs.


Q. What should one do with suspect herds/sick animals? 

  • USDA recommends isolating any sick cattle. Given the possibility of asymptomatic animals, it is critical that producers follow the Federal Order requirement that animals are not moved for interstate movement without a negative test for Influenza A virus.
  • For testing, veterinarians will need to contact DATCP who will decide if it is an emerging event (can use Bovine Influenza A submission form) or it is a Foreign Animal Disease Investigation (FADI). DATCP will authorize and fill out a 10-4 form for the investigation. DACTP will also advise on what samples to be submitted.
  • Animals will be tested individually.


Q. What should one do with animals tested positive? 

  • The State Animal Health Officials (SAHO) will not issue a certificate of veterinary inspection (CVI) for animals testing positive for H5N1. Animals may not move interstate until they have completed the 30-day waiting period and have been retested negative.
  • Owners of herds in which dairy cattle test positive for interstate movement will be required to provide epidemiological information, including animal movement tracing.
  • Lactating dairy cattle from herds which have tested positive for Influenza A are not eligible for
    interstate movement for thirty (30) days from the most recent collection of any sample that tests positive from any individual animal in the herd. After the 30-day period, animals must be tested again for movement.

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