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Animal Disease Response Exercise Underway

Associated Press - September 23, 2014 6:21 am

State and local officials in four Kansas counties are conducting an exercise to practice the state’s plan to respond to a foreign animal disease.

The state Department of Agriculture says the drill began Monday and continues through Wednesday. Emergency response teams from Clay, Lyon, Riley and Pottawatomie counties are taking part.

Agriculture officials said the exercise is based on a hypothetical case of foot-and-mouth disease, which was last identified in the U.S. in 1929. Foot-and-mouth is a highly contagious disease that affects cattle, sheep, swine and other cloven-hooved animals.

Kansas Agriculture Secretary Jackie McClaskey says the exercise will identify gaps in the state’s response plan and give state and local officials experience in carrying out the plan.