A multi-department exercise this week aimed at testing the state’s response to a viral outbreak in livestock will go on without participation from the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
The exercise will be held Wednesday and Thursday at the Biosecurity Research Institute in Manhattan. Sandra Johnson, emergency management coordinator for the Kansas Department of Agriculture, says the USDA isn’t participating because of the partial government shutdown.
The exercise costs more than $100,000, with much of the funding from federal grants. It involves more than 200 people and pulls together agencies from within Kansas, as well as industry and agencies from other states. Johnson says the exercise will begin with notification of a possible instance of foot-and-mouth disease, a highly contagious pathogen that can infect livestock.