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KCA Hosts Final Regional Meeting of the Year in Maple Hill

Independent cattle producers gathered in downtown Maple Hill in the meeting room of NextGen’s Chophouse, the evening of December 12, 2018, for an animal health and policy seminar put together by Kansas Cattlemen’s Association (KCA). Dr. Justin Smith, Kansas Animal Health Commissioner, provided an update on the Animal Health Department and Tyler Dupy, KCA, provided a legislative and policy update to the 50 producers in attendance.

Dr. Justin Smith began with an explanation of the departments which fall under the Division of Animal Health within the Kansas Department of Agriculture (KDA), including: Animal Disease Control, Branding Department, and Animal Facility Inspection. He continued by discussing a collaboration between U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and KDA to provide field veterinarian support throughout the state on a region by region basis.

Kansas, as an import state, receives in excess of 5 million head of cattle over our borders each year. In addition, producers buy and sell over 2 million head of cattle each year through Kansas livestock markets. With so many cattle and other livestock moving around each day, disease prevention and treatment is critical to keeping the Kansas cattle herd healthy. Dr. Smith discussed the facts of African Swine Fever, including how it can survive for a considerable and perhaps infinite amount of time outside of its host. The effects of an African Swine Fever outbreak in the U.S. could be disastrous, including an estimated loss of $16.5 billion to the swine industry and even up to an $8 billion loss for beef due to cheap pork flooding the domestic market.