• MU Extension small-ruminant specialist David Brown inspecting herd of goats in El Dorado Springs, Mo.

A University of Missouri Extension specialist urges caution among producers in Missouri after a newborn goat in Minnesota recently tested positive for the highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI), the first case of HPAI in goats in the U.S.

“There is no immediate threat to sheep and goat producers in the state of Missouri,” said David Brown, MU Extension small-ruminant specialist. “However, producers should practice strict biosecurity measures to prevent transmission on their farm.”

Minnesota’s Board of Animal Health announced that the infected goat shared the same pasture and pond as poultry. The Minnesota goats were tested after the producer noticed unusual deaths in newborn goats. The goat lived on the same farm where there had been an outbreak of HPAI in February.

Brown urges producers to quarantine new additions to the herd and acquire animals from known disease-free sources. “Producers should prevent the roaming of poultry to pasture areas that are grazed by other livestock species,” he said. “A separate water source should be provided for poultry and waterfowl.”

The Minnesota Veterinary Diagnostics Laboratory tested one of the goats in the Minnesota herd, and the result revealed influenza A. Subsequent tests at a USDA lab in Ames, Iowa, identified the virus as H5N1, which has been circulating in wild birds and poultry in multiple countries, including the U.S. There is an ongoing investigation on the farm by USDA health officials.

According to Minnesota’s state veterinarian, the spring migration poses a higher-risk transmission period for poultry, and there is the possibility of the virus infecting other animals on farms with multiple species. Research has shown that mammals appear to be dead-end hosts and are unlikely to spread HPAI further.

“Report any sudden livestock death to health officials and consult your local extension offices to establish on-farm biosecurity measures,” Brown said.

For more information, visit the American Association of Small Ruminant Practitioners biosecurity tool kit resources. The tool kit is available for download at

MU Extension small-ruminant specialist David Brown inspecting herd of goats in El Dorado Springs, Mo.

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