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Alerts and Important Animal Health Information

2024 Exhibition Requirements

H5N1 Influenza A Virus Detection in Livestock

Effective Monday, April 29, 2024 the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has implemented mandatory testing for interstate movement of dairy cattle as well as mandatory reporting of positive results to limit the spread of the disease. The Illinois Department of Agriculture and the Illinois Department of Public Health have issued a press release which can be read HERE.

Below is guidance for Illinois livestock producers regarding the federally required testing for interstate movement of dairy cattle.

Illinois Department of Agriculture Guidance for USDA APHIS Requirements for Interstate Movement of Cattle

May 8th, 2024

Please note: This situation is evolving rapidly; this guidance is based on USDA requirements and recommendations and is subject to change. Check back frequently for updated versions.


  • A Certificate of Veterinary Inspection with each animal individually identified with an official identifier.
  • Negative test for Influenza A no more than 7 days prior to movement.
    • Milk Samples:  each quarter to be sampled, 3-10 ml volume total. DO NOT POOL MULTIPLE COWS.  INDIVDIUAL SAMPLES SUBMITTED TO LAB.  LAB WILL POOL AS APPROPRIATE.
    • Must be submitted to a National Animal Health Laboratory Network Lab (NAHLN)
      • The University of Illinois Veterinary Diagnostic Lab is the NAHLN lab within Illinois.  Please contact the lab at 217-333-1620 with questions regarding sample submission.
  • Samples must be collected by a licensed, accredited veterinarian in the state of origin.
  • Groups of 30 or fewer animals = all animals tested
  • Groups > 30 animals = sample 30 animals
  • Laboratory fees will be covered by APHIS.  Sample collection and shipping costs will be at owner expense. 
  • If moving to exhibition, show or sale the animals may return to their herd of origin using the same negative test result provided for the exhibition, show or sale does not exceed 10 days of length.


  • Clinically affected lactating dairy cattle are not eligible for movement to slaughter.
  • Non-Clinical lactating dairy cattle must move on a certificate of veterinary inspection with each animal individual identified with an official identifier.
    • If both the shipping and receiving state accept, the owner shipper statement (OSS) can be used in place of the certificate of veterinary inspection.  Backtags may be listed as the ID on the OSS


  • Lactating animals from a herd that has had a positive test for Influenza A are not eligible for interstate movements for 30 days from last positive test in that herd.  After the 30 day period has lapsed, animals must have a negative test before movement can occur.


  • Testing of non-lactating animals prior to movement and submitted to a NAHLN lab is recommended but not required.  If submitted to a NAHLN lab, APHIS will cover the cost of testing but not labor or shipping.   Nasal swab is the sample required for non-lactating animals. 

Please note that biosecurity is of the utmost importance.  We encourage all producers to implement biosecurity protocols and limit movements to only what is necessary.  It is recommended that new animals should be isolated for 30 days before commingling with other animals.  FARMS WITH ANIMALS EXHIBITING CLINICAL SIGNS SHOULD NOT MOVE ANIMALS ONTO OR OFF THAT FARM. 


Please visit the below links for further information:


TESTING GUIDANCE: aphis-requirements-recommendations-hpai-livestock.pdf (

FAQ: Federal Order to Assist with Developing a Baseline of Critical Information and Limiting the Spread of H5N1 in Dairy Cattle: Frequently Asked Questions (

The Illinois Department of Agriculture is continuing to monitor the emergence of H5N1 influenza A detections in livestock.  We will continue to work with our state and federal partners to provide updates, as necessary. Currently, Illinois has not been affected. We encourage all cattle producers to follow enhanced biosecurity measures and monitor herd health. Please visit the USDA’s webpage for links to their releases and further information: Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (HPAI) Detections in Livestock. Any owners or veterinarians who have seen cattle with unexplained symptoms should contact the Illinois Department of Agriculture at 217-782-4944 or USDA at 217-547-6030.  For additional information, please visit the links below and review the attached documents:

Asian Longhorned Tick

Illinois is the 20th state to discover the Asian longhorned tick (Haemaphysalis longicornis).  The tick, considered an invasive species, was found on April 12 during routine active tick surveillance in Morgan County as part of a grant-funded active tick surveillance program. Additional surveillance in the area on April 24 discovered two additional Asian longhorned ticks.

Identification was confirmed by entomologists at the National Veterinary Services Laboratory.

While the tick was first introduced to the U.S. in 2017, this is the first known collection of this tick species from anywhere in Illinois.

The tick is capable of carrying tick borne diseases that affect cattle. In addition, a female can reproduce without a mate and lay up to 2,000 eggs at a time. Therefore, numbers may expand rapidly, and some cases of severe infestation of H. longicornis in livestock have been reported to cause issues including death due to blood loss.

The Illinois Department of Agriculture (IDOA), the Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) and the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) are monitoring the situation in partnership with the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA).

“Farmers and producers should be aware of this finding and continue working with their veterinarian to maintain an appropriate management plan,” said Dr. Mark Ernst, IDOA State Veterinarian. If a producer or veterinarian believes they have identified H. longicornis on an animal, the tick should be placed in a jar with isopropyl alcohol, and the Department of Agriculture should be contacted.”

Tick Prevention Tips:

  • Use Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)-registered insect repellents containing DEET, picaridin, IR3535, oil of lemon eucalyptus (OLE), para-menthane-diol (PMD) or 2-undecanone. Always follow product instructions.
  • Treat clothing and gear with products containing 0.5 percent permethrin. Permethrin can be used to treat boots, clothing, and camping gear and remain protective through several washings. Alternatively, you can buy permethrin-treated clothing and gear.
  • Check your body and clothing for ticks upon return from potentially tick-infested areas, including your own backyard. Use a hand-held or full-length mirror to view all parts of your body. Place tick-infested clothes in a dryer on high heat for at least 10 minutes to kill ticks on dry clothing after you come indoors.
  • Shower soon after being outdoors. Showering within two hours of coming indoors has been shown to reduce your risk of getting Lyme disease and may be effective in reducing the risk of other tickborne diseases. Showering may help wash off unattached ticks and is a good time to do a tick check.
  • Talk to your veterinarian about tickborne diseases in your area and prevention products for your pets and livestock.

Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD)Sampling Training 

The Bureau of Animal Health and Welfare will be hosting a virtual meeting on the sample collection process for Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD). This meeting is being held to provide information on future in-person training programs to teach proper sample collection techniques and aid in accurate CWD testing. Read the CWD Training Informational Letter for more details and to RSVP.  

U.S. Swine Health Improvement Plan

The Bureau of Animal Health and Welfare is now enrolling swine industry partners in the U.S. Swine Health Improvement Plan (U.S. SHIP).  Visit U.S. SHIP for more information.

Rabies Awareness

Rabies is a fatal zoonotic, neurologic disease.  In September 2021, Illinois reported the first human case and death within the state from rabies since 1954 after a person was bitten by a rabid bat and did not receive prophylaxis.

The canine strain of rabies has been eradicated in the US due to vaccination practices.  However, the risk of re-introduction is present as a result of importation of animals from countries where the strain remains prevalent.  Strains circulating in bats, raccoons, skunks, and other species are still found within the US.  Therefore, we all must remain vigilant and comply with the laws regarding Rabies vaccination, quarantine and testing in Illinois.  All cats and dogs over the age of 16 weeks are required to be vaccinated with an approved product and this must be administered by a licensed veterinarian.  Please note that while they are required to be vaccinated at 16 weeks of age, if a product is used at 12 weeks and is approved for this age, the animal is considered officially vaccinated.  County animal control officials are responsible for the enforcement of rabies vaccination requirements with oversight from the Department. 

If an animal bites a person or your pet is bitten by another animal, you should always contact your local animal control office first. If you find a bat in your home, or your pet or other domestic animal had contact with a bat you should contact your local animal control office.  Below is a summary of rabies guidance as well as the section of law that applies to help inform Animal Control officials and owners.  If you have questions about submitting a sample for rabies testing please review the IDPH Rabies Submission Form for guidance.   Persons that have been bitten or have been in contact with a bat or have a bat in the home need to contact the local health department, animal control and their doctor.  You may also visit Rabies | IDPH ( for more information.  Only the labs listed on the IDPH website are approved for testing Rabies. Please coordinate this with your local animal control and local health department to ensure testing is done at an approved laboratory.  

Type Of Bite Vaccine Status Quarantine Length Notes
Dog/Cat Bites Human Vaccinated 10 Days Reference 510 ILCS 5/13 for specifics.  Seen by veterinarian within 24 hours of bite and at end of quarantine to ensure no clinical signs and microchipped if not already.  If the animal is euthanized or expires before the end of quarantine, the brain must be submitted for rabies testing.
Dog/Cat Bites Human Unvaccinated 10 days- quarantine in a supervised facility Reference ILCS 5/13 for specifics. Seen by veterinarian within 24 hours and at end of quarantine to ensure no clinical signs and vaccinate for rabies after 10 day quarantine and microchip if not already.  If the animal is euthanized or expires before the end of quarantine, the brain must be submitted for rabies testing.
Rabid (or potentially rabid) animal bites dog, at or ferret or the animal is found in close proximity to a bat  and the bat can't be tested negative Vaccinated 45 days Reference section 30.130 of animal control rules.  Immediate humane euthanasia is preferred.  If not, then if vaccinated more than 30 days prior to exposure and within immunity period the dog should be revaccinated and confined for the 45 days.  Location of confinement is discretion of animal control.
Rabid (or potentially rabid animal) bites dog, cat or ferret or the animal is found in  close proximity to a bat and the bat can't be tested negative Unvaccinated or out of date 6 months Reference section 30.130 of animal control rules.  Immediate humane euthanasia  is preferred.  If not, vaccinate IMMEDIATELY and placed under quarantine.  Revaccinate at END of 5 MONTHS of quarantine and remain in quarantine for 30 more days.  Location of confinement is discretion of animal control.