Should I be worried about getting bird flu from raw milk?

Avain “bird” flu is in the headlines and you might be wondering… Should I be worried about getting sick with bird flu by drinking raw milk?

The short answer is no! Not according to the resources we have studied.

According to the FDA, there is no evidence that bird flu can be passed to humans through milk from an infected cow. “We do not know at this time if HPAI A (H5N1) viruses can be transmitted through consumption of unpasteurized (raw) milk” (article here).

In addition, when sourcing raw milk from a pasture-based farm, cows are less likely to be exposed to birds carrying sickness partly because pastured animals have been shown to have higher immunity than confined animals. According to the American Pastured Poultry Producers Association, sunlight, forage, pasture rotation, and less stress mean pasture is “a natural model of prevention against infection.”

If a dairy cow was exposed to bird flu, there is reason to believe that cows providing raw milk would develop natural antibodies to help prevent other mammals who consume their raw milk from getting sick. Mark McAffee expands on this in his article when he explains the similarity of raw milk to breastmilk and the antibodies produced;

“…In general, when a mother becomes infected by a virus or bacterial infection, she will produce antibodies in her raw milk that will provide her young with protection from the illness. This is part of why breastfed babies are known to have stronger immune systems than babies raised on formula.  Antibodies in raw milk are one way that Nature assures the strength and survival of the next generation.

Regulators commonly use any excuse possible to discourage drinking raw milk. Articles that lead you to believe dairy cows contracting avian flu pose a risk to consumers who drink raw milk are more likely fearmongering on the part of regulators trying to discourage you from drinking raw milk.

The warnings against raw milk related to avian flu are clearly fearmongering. The FDA acknowledges that “there is limited information available about the transmission of bird flu in raw, unpasteurized milk.” -Mark McAffee, Raw Milk Institute

There is a history of regulators at the FDA and CDC being highly influenced by (and sometimes directly hired from) big dairy industry companies that have a vested interest in keeping small dairies from being competition.

What are your thoughts about raw milk and avian flu? Comment below or email to share your feedback.

Written by:

Bartlett Farms

Bartlett Farms exists to help you raise the next generation of kids with stronger immune systems and more robust bodies that experience less disease and greater health. Follow us on social media at and


Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Keep Reading

Ready to get your Healthy Living Guide?


✔ Easy Recipes For Grass-fed Beef, Pastured Pork

and more to nourish your family.

✔ New Products From Bartlett Farms

to help you eat confidently and trust your food source.

✔ FAQs about Raw Milk

and what you need to know to get your family supplied with nature’s perfect food.

Boom! You're in. Check your email for a link to the guide!

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This