Livestock Poultry Health Overview

Clemson Livestock Poultry Health’s mission is to protect animal health through control of endemic, foreign, and emerging diseases in livestock and poultry and to protect the health of S. C. consumers by providing a comprehensive inspection service to ensure that meat and poultry products are safe, wholesome, and accurately labeled. LPH serves as South Carolina’s animal health authority, state meat and poultry inspection department, and the state’s veterinary diagnostic center in fulfilling this mission. Organizing all these activities together offers significant savings through efficiencies in administration and shared personnel. While Clemson is the only land-grant institution with animal health authority and state meat inspection, we are among at least 36 such institutions with a veterinary diagnostic center.

  • Clemson has over 100 years of experience as the state animal health authority. The S.C. Legislature first assigned animal health regulatory responsibility to Clemson College in 1901. Clemson, through LPH, is the only agency in S.C. that has ever performed these responsibilities. There is no known duplication of responsibilities in other state agencies or the private sector.

  • One of the reasons Clemson LPH is able to perform its state animal health authority duties with a smaller staff is due to its close affiliation with Clemson Extension. Extension agents serve as partners and back-up manpower in disease surveillance, control, and prevention education. LPH has significantly fewer people in this role than either North Carolina or Georgia.

  • The land-grant university affiliated model allows LPH veterinarians to serve as regulatory veterinarians, Extension veterinarians, laboratory veterinarians, meat inspection veterinarians, researchers and faculty members. Clemson PSA is able to perform both animal health regulatory responsibilities and the services of Extension veterinarians using the same personnel. LPH staff also participates in the research activities of the Experiment Station. The association with a land-grant research university is a significant factor in recruitment of top caliber veterinarians for LPH staff.

  • State permitted meat facilities contribute in excess of $100 million in product sales to the SC economy each year and directly provide jobs for over 400 people. SCMPID provides inspection services, which include ante-mortem and postmortem inspection for 82 meat and poultry processing facilities.

  • LPH leads statewide animal/agriculture emergency response through ESF-17 with primary support from Clemson Extension and contributions from all three departments within LPH: Animal Health Programs, S.C. Meat and Poultry Inspection Department and the Veterinary Diagnostic Center.

  • Animal agriculture represents over $6 billion and 37,253 jobs in the state’s economy with $1.24 billion and 11,782 jobs in direct economic impacts, according to a 2010 analysis. LPH has responsibilities that are integral to this economy, which protect and monitor the health of all livestock and poultry in South Carolina and significantly contribute to its continuation and growth. Clemson Veterinary Diagnostic Center is the only place, public or private, that offers necropsy (autopsy) services for food animals and other livestock in South Carolina.

  • SC poultry exports have grown by 87% since 2005 reaching $145.8 million in 2009. (The State, 8/28/10) LPH integrated activities allow the State Veterinarian to issue certification letters each month, (240 in 2010) which enable the export of SC poultry products.