(Jamie) We’re back! Let’s join Kyle and Dr. Smith and learn about controlling animal disease with movement regulations, testing, quarantine requirements and more.
(Kyle) Hi this is Kyle Bauer from Manhattan visiting with Justin Smith. He’s with the Kansas Department of Agriculture, a veterinarian with them. Help us understand what the job of the Kansas Department of Agriculture is when it comes to animal disease control. (Justin) Sure. The Animal Health Division is actually our challenge our mission is to protect the animal, the health safety and welfare of our livestock industry as well as our pet industry across the state. So our job is basically to reach out there and view the livestock industry to see what regulations need to be put in place to help protect that, whether it be animal movement regulations, whether it be disease regulations as far as the testing requirements and the quarantine requirements in that respect. The other thing that we do is we reach out there and do any kind of a foreign animal or emergent disease investigation. We are responsible for taking care of those as well. (Kyle) Well and truly as we have confined animals in large numbers sometimes there can be disease outbreaks and it’s your job to try to keep those controlled as much as possible. (Justin) By all means, if we’re unfortunate to have a disease outbreak in the state of Kansas we practice all the time, and we’re challenged all the time in how we’re going to contain it, how we’re going to squelch that and mitigate the risk and the damage that that animal disease will have upon our industry. (Kyle) And truly those diseases range all the way from rabies, which is a relatively small number over wide periods and a lot of different species to sometimes last summer’s Avian Influenza, right? Was that what it was called and you had to do some euthanizing in large numbers? (Justin) Definitely. Avian Influenza was the one disease last year that impacted the United States, the largest animal health disease incident in the history of the United States. Unfortunately in the state of Kansas, we did deal with it. It was on a smaller scale, but we did have to deal with it. But it did impact a great number of birds. (Kyle) So, you have a lot of cooperation then with people out in the field and in every county? (Justin) Most definitely. We couldn’t do it without their cooperation. We rely on those producers and owners to look at their animals each day, the daily husbandry as well as the local Veterinarian Society, we rely on them tremendously and if we have to do a response we’ve worked out arrangements. We work on the local emergency responders as well as the local officials in any county to mitigate this. (Kyle) And you also have cooperation and/or cross agreements with neighboring states? (Justin) That’s right we do. One of the big things that we have in place now is MOUs with these states that if we have a disease and if we need to shut down our borders for the purpose of movements, we have their acknowledgement that they’re going to do the same. And so yes we do reach out across states and definitely communicate with them. (Kyle) And we think about that on big scenarios, but that happens regularly even with like horse movement. (Justin) Yes it does. Likewise an example is the vesicular stomatitis that was affecting our neighboring states to the west this last year. When they got that disease on a farm, it locked that farm down until they can mitigate it and actually get rid of the disease and prove that it wasn’t there to be spread anymore. (Kyle) We’re visiting with Justin Smith. Justin is with the Kansas Department of Agriculture. This is Kyle Bauer reporting. Back to you Jamie.(Jamie) Thanks, Kyle. Next up is this week’s Kansas Soybean Update.