The Arkansas Livestock and Poultry Commission was created by Act 87 of 1963. The Commission has full authority for the control, suppression, and eradication of livestock and poultry diseases and pests, and supervision of livestock and poultry sanitary work in this State. It has the duty for the development of the livestock and poultry industries in the State and for administering the provisions of laws and regulations pertaining to livestock and poultry. The Commission is authorized to enter into cooperative agreements with several federal agencies in matters relating to livestock and poultry disease control programs.
Agency Mission Statement
To safeguard human and animal health, assure food safety and quality, and promote Arkansas livestock and poultry industries for the benefit of our citizens.
- Protect human and animal health from zoonotic (diseases that can be transmitted between humans and animals) and other communicable animal diseases.
- Protect humans and animals from environmental and toxicological threats.
- Protect consumers by ensuring food safety and quality.
- Promote and enhance marketability of livestock, poultry, and their products both nationally and internationally.
Livestock Inspection and Disease Control:
The Commission's Livestock Inspection and Disease Control Program is concentrated on suppressing and eradicating animal diseases. The Commission works closely with USDA, Veterinary Services in controlling the movements of livestock on an intra and interstate basis to ensure compliance with state disease control laws and regulations. This encompasses the inspection of virtually all herds of cattle and swine in the State, as well as surveillance of auction barns, livestock dealers and garbage feeding establishments. Livestock inspectors and veterinarians maintain surveillance for screwworms, scabies, anthrax, foot and mouth and other exotic diseases that are seldom diagnosed, but which are constant threats to the State's livestock industry. The Brucellosis disease has been eradicated for over 10 years. The Commission, through this program, strives to protect livestock and poultry industries from dreaded and costly diseases that would affect production and marketability. Starting in 2013, the USDA Animal Traceability Rule will be implemented into the program.
The Commission maintains a diagnostic laboratory in Little Rock for the purpose of diagnosing livestock and poultry diseases that assist livestock, poultry, and equine industries, together with practicing veterinarians in the achievement of their disease control programs. These clients are served by means of post-mortem examinations, bacteriological, chemical, serological, toxicological, and virological tests provided by the laboratory. Laboratory findings aid animal owners in limiting or eliminating health hazards to their animals. Timely and accurate test results provided by the Commission's laboratory have tremendous economic effects on the State's livestock and poultry industries by reducing death losses and increasing production. The laboratory is a member laboratory of the National Animal Health Laboratory Network (NAHLN) which is administered by the USDA, and the FDA Veterinary Laboratory Network.