The Division of Animal Health (DAH) was created in 1969 by consolidating all of the activities of: the Livestock Sanitary Commission and the State Brand Commission. The DAH is divided into three programs: disease control, animal facilities inspection and brands. The Division of Animal Health works with two Boards, a nine member Animal Health Board and a ten member Pet Animal Advisory Board. The DAH joined the Kansas Department of Agriculture in 2011.
What We Do
Division of Animal Health:
One of the agency’s goals is to eradicate infectious and contagious livestock diseases throughout the state. Kansas continues to be a “free” state, which means it is Brucellosis, Tuberculosis and Pseudorabies free. Department veterinarians are responsible for testing programs, epidemiology of disease outbreaks and technical support for the administration. Livestock inspectors inspect feedlots, livestock markets and disposal plants; conduct disease tracebacks; and assist in testing programs. Office staff gathers and maintains records on calfhood vaccinations, herd records, test results, import and export requirements. Staff also provides laboratory technical support for the state/federal testing laboratory. Additional duties include collecting license fees and maintaining records on all licensed facilities.
Kansas Homeland Defense:
A subdivision of disease control is “Kansas Homeland Defense” aka Emergency Management. The disease control field staff is actively involved in the education of producers, emergency personnel and other interested parties on the state emergency animal disease plan and the consequences of an outbreak of a foreign animal disease. This subdivision also assists county emergency managers with county emergency animal disease planning. The state emergency animal disease plan relies heavily on local response for the first 24-48 hours of an outbreak of a foreign animal disease.
Animal Disease Traceability:
A critical function of disease control is livestock movement tracking. In February 2010, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced a change in direction on the National Animal Identification system. This change in direction resulted in the development of the “Animal Disease Traceability” (ADT) System. The ADT program is currently under development by the USDA. Under the preliminary guidelines of the ADT program, the program will center on tracking interstate livestock movements at the federal level. At the State level, DAH staff will focus on tracking intrastate livestock movements.
The Animal Facilities Inspection Program:
The Animal Facilities Inspection Program regulates companion animal facilities required to be licensed under the provisions of the Kansas Pet Animal Act. The Act requires licensing and inspection of all dog and cat breeders who produce, offer or sell three or more litters during the state fiscal year, pounds and shelters, pet shops, research facilities, distributors, out-of-state distributors, boarding facilities, animal rescues and foster homes. Office staff maintains licenses, health papers and correspondence pertaining to the program. Field inspectors inspect licensed facilities and investigate complaints.
Brands are markings used to identify livestock. The brand division maintains an approximately 18,000 brand registry and assists with the market brand inspection program performed by contract. Two special investigators assist local law enforcement with lost, stray and stolen livestock. They coordinate investigations between agencies and victims.