The Division of Animal Health at the Kansas Department of Agriculture has announced a time-limited waiver for the pullorum-typhoid testing requirements for poultry in Kansas. The sunset date set for this temporary suspension is October 1, 2019. It has NOT been discontinued, but temporarily waived. Because this date is after the 2019 county and state fair season, this means that pullorum testing will be waived for poultry shows in Kansas. This has been caused by a nationwide shortage of the testing antigen.
The shortage has been caused by many things, but certainly having just a sole supplier due to the pharmaceutical industry consolidation has been problematic. Anyone working with poultry that would normally require testing should remain alert to the issue, however, as the program has NOT been discontinued. Hopefully, this emergency change will result better access and lower cost in the long run. KSU Poultry Specialist Dr. Scott Beyer has always pointed out that reduced participation in youth poultry shows is partially tied to the difficulty with dealing with the national testing program. When all things are considered, there is a low risk of pullorum disease when birds are displayed in individual show cages.
According to K-State Research and Extension – Southwind District Extension Agent Christopher Petty, this means there will be no testing of birds prior to the 2019 Bourbon County Fair. Check with your local extension agent about testing requirements for your local county fair.
The Kansas pullorum testing program is maintained within the KDA and they may be reached at 785-564-6601 for further questions.