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K-State Today

May 27, 2021

Kansas State Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory exercises readiness for African swine fever outbreak

Submitted by Audrey Hambright

On May 20, members of the Kansas State Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory, or KSVDL, along with the Kansas Department of Agriculture, the Biosecurity Research Institute and many other partners across campus, the state of Kansas and the National Animal Health Laboratory Network took part in a tabletop exercise focused on laboratory activities during the various stages of a simulated outbreak of African swine fever.

The exercise was made possible by a funded proposal as part of the 2020 National Animal Health Laboratory Network, or NAHLN, Funding Opportunity under Section 12101 of the 2018 Farm Bill. The entire proposal encompasses this table-top event along with a functional exercise to follow in early 2022 and the completion of an after-action report that can be utilized by the entire NAHLN network to advance preparedness for an African swine fever outbreak in the United States. The exercises are being written and facilitated by the National Agricultural Biosecurity Center at Kansas State University.

As a Tier 1 member of the NAHLN network, the KSVDL serves to provide early detection, rapid response, and appropriate recovery from high-consequence animal diseases, such as African swine fever. While KSVDL has participated in many foreign animal disease exercises sponsored by other regulatory partners, this was the first to focus primarily on the activities of the laboratory itself. The functional exercise will involve actual testing of mock samples and will stress communication with state and federal partners at the Kansas Department of Agriculture, U.S. Department of Agriculture and NAHLN. To help prepare for these activities, KSVDL has also formed a Foreign Animal Disease Committee that meets regularly to discuss planning and preparedness for possible emerging disease outbreaks, many of which could have a devastating effect on our state and nation's vibrant agricultural economy.

For more information, contact Kelli Almes, KSVDL foreign animal disease/outbreak section head, at 785-532-3995 or kalmes@vet.k-state.edu.

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