Help Prevent Equine Disease This Summer

As summer approaches, the Kansas Department of Agriculture Division of Animal Health encourages horse owners to take proactive steps to prevent the transmission of vesicular stomatitis virus (VSV), an equine disease that is common in the summer months.

As summer approaches, the Kansas Department of Agriculture Division of Animal Health encourages horse owners to take proactive steps to prevent the transmission of vesicular stomatitis virus (VSV), an equine disease that is common in the summer months. VSV is transmitted by insect vectors, and recent years have seen an increase in cases of VSV in Kansas.

If you own horses or take care of horses, this is the time of year to be vigilant in changes to your animal care routine to prevent introduction of VSV. Consider these best practices in your horse care this summer:

  • Strict fly control. VSV is primarily spread by black flies and midges. Keep pens clean, remove manure, and use appropriate fly sprays and traps. Minimize bright lights that attract insects at night.
  • Regularly inspect horses for symptoms that might indicate VSV, such as blister-like lesions, fever, excessive salivation, reluctance to eat, or lameness.
  • If you travel to events with horses from other properties, keep your horses separated. Don’t tie up your horse with other horses, and don’t share equipment, tools, tack or water buckets.

Kansas experienced a significant outbreak of VSV in 2020, with positive cases on over 100 premises in 26 counties. Other species including cattle can be susceptible to VSV, although it is primarily an equine disease. VSV is a reportable disease by state law; if there is a concern of a possible VSV infection or another reportable disease, call the Kansas Animal Health Commissioner at the KDA Division of Animal Health.

Putting these best practices into action now can protect horses across the state and assist the Kansas equine industry in disease prevention to help avoid an outbreak this summer. Go to for more information about VSV symptoms and prevention.


KDA offices are open to the public, with the following practices in place to protect the health of staff and visitors. 

  • All staff and visitors are required to wear face coverings in public areas of the building.
  • Social distancing should be maintained while in the building.
  • Many meetings continue to be held as online meetings or conference calls.

Division of Animal Health

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Special Features

Feral Swine Management Practices

The Kansas Department of Agriculture hosted an informational webinar on December 1, 2020 at to offer an update on the management practices used in Kansas to control feral swine.

Watch the webinar here: Feral Swine Information Webinar
Slide Deck presentations available here:
Curran Salter, USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service-Wildlife Services
Frank Rottinghaus, National Wildlife Disease Program

Equine Disposal Guidance Document

This document highlights the options for equine carcass disposal, including composting, landfill, burial, cremation, and biocremation. This guidance document was created through a collaboration between KDA, the Kansas Department of Health and Environment, the Kansas Horse Council, and the KSU College of Veterinary Medicine.

Click here to view the Equine Disposal Guidance document.

Chronic Wasting Disease Sample Collection Videos

Hunters can help ensure the safety of the meat they harvest and prevent the spread of Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) in deer by collecting samples from field-harvested deer and sending these samples to be tested for the disease. The Kansas State Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory has created two videos explaining how to remove the brain stem and lymph nodes for CWD testing.

Hunters: click here to view a basic video on sample collection

Veterinarians: click here to view a detailed video on sample collection

Animal Health in the News

News Releases

The most recent news releases pertaining to Division of Animal Health are located along the left side of this page. For additional Kansas Department of Agriculture news releases, click here.


  • Fall 2021 - PDF
  • Summer 2021 - PDF
  • Winter/Spring 2021 - PDF
  • Fall 2020 - PDF

Interested in receiving updates directly from the Division of Animal Health? To subscribe, click here.

Annual Reports

The Division of Animal Health provides an annual report on Kansas Livestock Markets. Click on the link below to view the most recent report:

2020 Annual Livestock Market Report


Through consolidation of the Livestock Sanitary Commission and the State Brand Commission in 1969, the Kansas Division of Animal Health (DAH) was created. Currently there are three programs that make up the DAH - Animal Disease Control, Animal Facilities Inspection, Brands Program - all of which work to ensure the health and welfare of Kansas livestock and domestic animals. The DAH works in conjunction with two essential boards: the Animal Health Board and the Pet Animal Advisory Board. In 2011, the DAH joined with the Kansas Department of Agriculture, and in 2014 relocated to Manhattan, Kansas.