Sympathy for Dairy Farmer Following Forced Herd Depopulation


Art Schapp, a dairy farmer in Clovis, New Mexico, recently was obliged to depopulate his herd of 3,250 milking cows.  Those in the egg industry who have been affected by HPAI know the emotional pain and financial hardship following destruction of flocks and business interruption.


In the case of Highland Dairy, contamination of ground water from the adjacent Clovis Airbase resulted in levels of per- and polyfluoroalkyl (PFAS) compounds at a level of 37,000 ppt against the standard of 70 ppt.  The PFAS contamination of wells was due to a long-term application of fire-fighting foam at the adjacent airbase.  Consumption of contaminated water by a dairy herd will result in violative levels in milk, necessitating herd depletion.  Under the circumstances, it is doubtful whether Schapp will ever be able to resume dairy farming at Highland.  At least, egg producers can decontaminate and restock after HPAI.