The Animal Health Programs (AHP) department coordinates activities to protect the health of South Carolina livestock and poultry populations, consumers, and the state’s economy from catastrophic livestock and poultry diseases. The prevention, early detection, prompt containment and eradication of emergency animal diseases are of the highest importance. The health status of livestock and poultry, statewide and on individual farms, is a critical factor for access to markets in other states and countries. Under the guidance of the State Veterinarian, AHP staff work closely with the USDA APHIS VS, and other state agencies as appropriate, to carry out its mission.
This department is responsible for the enforcement of state and federal animal health laws and regulations that protect animal health through control of endemic, foreign, and emerging diseases. Animal Health Programs regulate animal disease surveillance testing and movement of livestock and poultry; provide oversight of public auction markets, livestock sales and exhibitions to ensure animal disease traceability; and administer the SC Ag-Watch program, which promotes basic animal disease prevention practices, disease threat awareness, and best management practices for SC livestock and poultry producers. Animal Health Programs staff also have responsibility for coordination of state animal emergency response planning for animal disease incidents and natural/man-made disasters.