Dairy Today Editors
Kansas and Oklahoma are conducting a joint exercise today to test the abilities of federal and state officials to stop livestock movement in the event of a disease outbreak, according to a Kansas Livestock Association news release. This is only a test and should not be construed any other way.
The real-time exercise takes place today in Topeka, Kan., Oklahoma City, Okla., and on the Kansas-Oklahoma border. The scenario is based on simulated outbreak of foot-and-mouth disease in the eastern United States. Vehicles transporting livestock, meat and milk through the intersection of Highways 160 and 183 in Clark County will be temporarily diverted through a Kansas Department of Transportation "mixing strip” near the intersection. A similar stop movement point will be set up north of Turpin on Highway 83. Trucks carrying ag products will not be delayed for any length of time. Passenger cars will not be stopped as part of the exercise.
"Many states have conducted exercises to test their response plans to a highly contagious foreign animal disease within their own borders, so this exercise provides the new dimension of coordinating activities to stop animal movement across a shared border,” said George Teagarden, commissioner of the Kansas Animal Health Department.
The exercise, titled SAMS-KO, or Stop Animal Movement Statewide KS-OK, is funded by a grant from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. Kansas and Oklahoma are members of the Multi-State Partnership for Security in Agriculture, a consortium of 13 states that work together to protect the food and agriculture sector by sharing information and building interstate response capabilities
KLA, the Kansas Animal Health Department, Kansas Department of Agriculture and Kansas Division of Emergency Management have widely publicized the event to make the industry and public aware it is only a test. These and other organizations will be involved in today's test, as will members of the Multi-State Partnership for Security in Agriculture.