- Action Plan
The Kansas Animal Health Department was created on July 1, 1969 and is directed by the Livestock Commissioner. This department consolidated all of the activities of the former departments known as the Livestock Sanitary Commission and the State Brand Commission.
The Kansas Animal Health Board was created to serve as an advisory and policy making board to the Livestock Commissioner. The board consists of nine members appointed by the Governor (these members include representatives from the following industries: 3 beef, 1 swine, 1 dairy, 1 market, 1 Veterinarian, 1 Pet Animal and 1 Citizen at large). The Livestock Commissioner is appointed by and serves at the pleasure of the board.
Powers and duties of the livestock commissioner are set forth in Chapter 47, Articles 1, 2, 4, 6, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 15, 17, 18, 19, 21, and 22 as well as K.S.A. 75-3142. K.S.A. 47-610 states, "It shall be the duty of the livestock commissioner to protect the health of domestic animals of the state from all contagious or infectious disease and for this purpose, he is hereby authorized and empowered to establish, maintain and enforce such quarantine, sanitary and other regulations as he may deem necessary."
Legislation enacted in 1973 (Article 17 - - Animal Dealers - - K.S.A. 47-1701 through 47-1718) provided for licensing and inspection of all pet shops, and required the pounds and shelters of first class cities to be registered and inspected by the Kansas Animal Health Department.
Legislation enacted in 1988 expanded the earlier regulatory authority to include the task of inspecting and licensing the facilities of animal dealers (breeders and brokers of dogs and cats), pet shop operators (retailers of animals), pounds and shelters of first class cities, and private research facilities. The legislation also created a registration category for persons raising and selling three, four or five litters of dogs or cats annually, known as hobby kennel operators. This category was inspected only upon complaint giving reasonable grounds to believe a violation has been committed.
The 1991 legislature amended the fee structure to double license fees to $300 without a USDA license and $150 with a current USDA license and tripled registration fees to $75. It also broadened the program authority to license all animals pounds and shelters in the state and to register all boarding kennels in Kansas with the exception of those operated by a licensed veterinarian.
The 1995 legislature amended the animal dealer act to include a definition of "no-kill shelter" under the pound and shelter laws. No-kill shelter is defined as any premises where 20 or more dogs or cats, or both, are housed. No-kill shelters do not ascribe to the euthanasia of unwanted animals. No-kill shelters must meet the same requirements as animal pounds and shelters and are inspected twice a year. The license fee is set by rules and regulations at $200.
The 1996 legislature renamed the Act. As of July 1, 1996, it is the Kansas Pet Animal Act, rather than the Kansas Animal Dealer Act. Most of the changes to the Act were technical in nature. Terminology changed, and licensee categories were more clearly defined. The "no-kill shelter" provision enacted in 1995 was eliminated, but the definition of no-kill (individuals housing 20 or more dogs or cats) was included under the revised pound and shelter definition. The revised law includes one new license category "out-of-state distributor." The law also was broadened to allow inspection of all licensees. Previously, boarding and training and hobby breeders could only be inspected upon complaint; as of July 1, 1996, they can be inspected anytime.
To ensure the public health, safety and welfare of Kansas' citizens through prevention, control and eradication of infectious and contagious disease and conditions affecting the health of livestock and domestic animals in the State of Kansas; to regulate facilities that produce, sell or harbor companion animals and enforce the laws governing such facilities; to direct an effective brand registration and inspection program to identify ownership of lost or stolen livestock and to inform the public of the status of the health of livestock in the state to promote understanding and gain public assistance in achieving this mission.
The Kansas Animal Health Department will act in accordance with the highest standards of ethics, accountability, efficiency and openness. We are cognizant of the relationship between the health of domestic livestock raised for food consumption and the health of the general public; and will strive to ensure that infectious disease in livestock is eradicated in the state. We will enforce the laws, rules and regulations consistently and fairly and will treat the citizens of Kansas in a positive, respectful manner; building public trust and cooperation.
The overall goal of the Kansas Animal Health Department is to provide fast, courteous service to the livestock producers and the pet animal industry of the state. We strive to provide this service in an efficient, effective manner, with as little disruption to the producers and their operations as possible.
In recent years, the department has tried to become more efficient and effective by conducting workload studies and encouraging time management by employees. Because of increased work associated with statutory changes, additional licensees and an increase in program efforts, the number of employees remains constant. The down sizing of the United States Department of Agriculture, Veterinary Services has made it necessary for the department to furnish a laboratory technician and a .4 FTE records clerk for the federal office and lab. The records clerk works in our office three days per week on import export health certificates (formally a full-time position). The department is cooperating with the USDA, Veterinary Services, on disease control responsibilities. The state has been divided into areas of responsibility that involve sharing of state/federal work. This has reduced travel expense for both agencies and provided faster service to the livestock producers.
The department is continually looking at our rules and regulations for obsolete and burdensome, needless language. Although this activity is not our number one priority, our goal is to make the rules and regulations more user friendly; easier to understand and enforce. During the 1997 legislative session a bill was passed and signed by the governor that prohibits the sale of diseased or disabled livestock at our livestock markets. Regulations are in place to implement that law.
Bovine brucellosis eradication remains the number one priority of the department. Four years ago, thirty-seven herds were known to be infected with the disease. At this time, no known infection exists. Brucellosis "free" status is granted to states that have had no infection for at least the previous twelve months and have proven that an effective surveillance program is in place and working. The "free" status will reduce interstate movement requirements for brucellosis testing and save the cattle producers of the state considerable test expense.
Depopulation is the most effective method of eradicating the disease. The federal government has contributed many resources to this effort in the past and will do so until December 31, 1998. At that time it will be the sole responsibility of states to eradicate brucellosis on their own. It is imperative that Kansas reaches "free" before the federal funds are pulled from the eradication effort. The cost to the state will be considerable if this goal is not met.
Porcine pseudorabies eradication is also a priority of the department. Governor Graves and the 1997 legislature provided funds to depopulate pseudorabies infected swine herds and mandated that any herd not making sufficient progress towards disease clean-up be depopulated. Currently, no known pseudorabies exists in the state. We have asked for continuation of this indemnity fund. Cooperation of herd owners allows for the most cost effective manner of eradication.
- Bovine brucellosis free
- Porcine brucellosis free
- Pseudorabies, Stage V (free)
- Tuberculosis free
The Kansas Animal Health Department is divided into four divisions:
- The administration division includes all administrative functions such as supervisory personnel, human resources and accounting.
- The department functions primarily in a regulatory capacity to enforce statutes and Kansas Administrative Rules and Regulations.
- The department is headed by the livestock commissioner who oversees the day-to-day operations of the agency. The animal health board plans for the future direction of the department as they perceive it to be in the best interest of the State of Kansas.
The largest division of the department is the disease control function. The division's focus is primarily on brucellosis, pseudorabies, tuberculosis and equine infectious diseases of livestock, especially those that can be passed to humans. The incidence of brucellosis and pseudorabies has dropped significantly since 1995. (and no known infections exist.) Although brucellosis is still the number one disease of concern, equine infectious anemia and Johnes have risen in occurrence.
To monitor and control the spread of livestock diseases, the agency licenses and regulates public livestock markets, feedlots, disposal plants and trucks, and livestock dealers. All livestock that are sold at a public livestock market are inspected for contagious and infectious diseases. All test eligible cattle are tested for brucellosis and breeding swine are tested for pseudorabies if they return to the country. Culled breeding swine are tested at slaughter plants for pseudorabies. All blood that is tested at Kansas State University for pseudorabies is sent to the state/federal laboratory for brucellosis testing. Regulatory veterinary staff test all responders to the initial skin test for tuberculosis. Field staff also investigate any suspicious disease or aliment that is reported to us by private practitioners. Quarantines are imposed on livestock being imported from areas of high disease and are retested to insure that we do not import disease.
Under Kansas law, livestock brand registrations were started on a state level in 1939. Each brand is registered for a five-year period (original registrations are for four full years after the following April 1) with brands expiring on April 1. Each calendar year ending in the number "9" or "4" has a larger number of brands for renewal than for other years. The brand registration fee and the renewal fee are each $45, the fee for transfer of ownership is $15. It is unlawful for any person to use a brand unless the brand is legally recorded in his or her name.
- The brand division administers the estray law. The brand office has two special investigators that work closely with county sheriffs, the brand officials of other states, and other law enforcement officials recover lost or stolen livestock.
- Brand inspection is not mandatory in the State of Kansas. Brand inspection shall be performed in areas designated as brand inspection areas, provided funds for inspection are available. Brand inspection may also be performed upon request. Currently, three counties participate in the county option brand inspection program and nine livestock markets are contracting with the department for inspection services.
- The brand division maintains the state brand registry which consists of approximately 21,000 brands. A new edition brand book was made public in early FY `99.
- This division also assist local law enforcement with lost, strayed and stolen livestock. They coordinate investigations between agencies and victims.