Division of Animal Industries

The Division of Animal Industries consists of the Dairy/CAFO Bureau, Animal Health and Livestock Bureau and the Rangeland Management Program. The division has 46 full-time employees and an annual budget of approximately $6.3 million. The Division oversees the State Animal Health Laboratory which serves consumers and agriculture through prioritized testing of animal samples and dairy products for diseases and food safety programs targeted as most important to animal health and human safety.

Dairy/CAFO Bureau

The Dairy/CAFO Bureau provides oversight of the dairy industry in Idaho. This oversight helps to ensure safe, wholesome milk and milk products for consumers. The program encompasses sanitary inspections of dairy farms, bulk milk haulers, processors, manufacturing and processing equipment, warehouses, stores and other businesses where milk and dairy products are manufactured, stored, sold or offered for sale. The program also includes finished dairy product testing for compliance with state and national standards and an FDA approved laboratory certification program for industry and private laboratories.

This bureau is also responsible for the protection of ground and surface water from dairy farm waste and waste generated on beef cattle animal feeding operations. Routine inspections are conducted of waste handling and containment facilities, land application sites and new or modified systems and facilities.

In addition to state enforcement requirements, this bureau works in conjunction with several federal agencies through cooperative agreements or memoranda of agreement to protect the environment and ensure safe food products. Laws and rules require all dairy farms and CAFOs to develop Nutrient Management Plans (NMPs). These plans aid in the appropriate applications of nutrients to cropland. A certification process has been implemented to assist in the development of NMPs and to certify soil samplers. The department conducts NMP inspections and reviews or obtains soil tests to verify compliance.

The bureau is responsible for enforcement of the Agriculture Odor Management Act as it relates to Idaho livestock operations that emit odors in excess of those odors normally associated with acceptable agricultural practices in Idaho will be required to develop an Odor Management Plan to reduce odors. The bureau works in conjunction with the University of Idaho, private industries, and the industry to find economically viable and effective means to minimize offensive odors on these operations. The bureau, through a Memorandum of Understanding with the Idaho Department of Environmental Quality also conducts dairy farm inspections on the larger dairy farms for the control of ammonia emissions. Dairy Bureau staff also conducts organic dairy and milk processing inspections for those operations requesting ISDA certification under the state organic program.

The Bureau represents the Department along with partnering agencies DEQ and IDWR in conducting CAFO siting evaluations by providing technical assistance to county governments for their consideration in determining planning and zoning decisions regarding livestock operations.

Animal Health and Livestock Bureau

The Animal Health and Livestock Bureau is responsible for regulatory animal disease control and prevention programs through the inspection and investigation of livestock and livestock facilities, and the regulation of movement of animals in intrastate, interstate and international commerce. Bureau staff participate in the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Cooperative Disease Control programs for cattle, horses, swine, sheep, domestic cervidae, ratites, llamas, poultry and fish. The bureau and the Idaho Department of Fish and Game continue working cooperatively to address brucellosis in free-ranging elk migrating out of the Greater Yellowstone Area.

Bureau staff field hundreds of calls and answer numerous questions and inquiries from the public, veterinary practitioners, and livestock producers on matters pertaining to disease control, preventive medicine, interstate shipment, herd management, animal care and waste management. They issue permits or licenses for animal agriculture functions and provide animal welfare education, investigate animal care complaints and work cooperatively with law enforcement agencies and the court system in the resolution of animal care cases and animal movement violations.

The bureauis also responsible for the prevention, monitoring, and control of emerging and emergency diseases affecting animals. Many Idaho private veterinarians and veterinary technicians are trained in emergency disease recognition and response. The bureau coordinates with the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare to address diseases that are transmissible between animals and humans, and with the Idaho Bureau of Homeland Security on animal health emergency management and response.

Rangeland Management Program

The primary duties of the Rangeland Management Program are to provide leadership, technical support and assistance to Idaho rangeland livestock producers. This support is delivered to both individual producers upon request and to local groups and associations through leadership and participation in collaborative teams such as local sage grouse working groups. Services include assistance for planning and implementing Best Management Practices (BMPs), including grazing systems, range improvements, and inventory and monitoring. Support is provided to livestock producers in reviewing and mediating agency actions, including those actions imposed under the Endangered Species Act, environmental analysis and agency planning and management decisions, which impact private and federal grazing allotments.

Recent Achievements

  • Improved manure/odor management.
  • Revised numerous regulatory rules for clarity and brevity.
  • Animal Health Laboratory continued implementation of a Training and Document Management Program to enhance its Quality Assurance System.
  • Animal Health Laboratory implemented several molecular diagnostic assays to detect animal diseases.
  • Continued surveillance testing for bovine tuberculosis and brucellosis.
  • Tested approximately 7,000 head of cattle related to the epidemiological investigation of a brucellosis affected herd in eastern Idaho. No other affected herds were found.
  • Department employees statewide trained in National Incident Management System and Incident Command System.
  • Continued inventorying beef animal feeding operations.
  • Educate more local emergency managers, extension personnel, and producers on agro-terrorism threats and risk management to address the National Preparedness Goal of the U. S. Department of Homeland Security.
  • Expand education programs for producers on Good Biosecurity Practices for farms, ranches, and food processing facilities.
  • Continue working collaboratively with USDA APHIS restructuring the U.S. brucellosis and tuberculosis programs.
  • Complete an inventory of all beef animal feeding operations for environmental compliance.
  • Retrofit Beef Livestock Facilities with “waters of the state” discharge concerns within a 1-2 year period.
  • Develop an Animal disease traceability program consistent with anticipated federal requirements.

Future Goals

  • Participate in National Animal Health Lab Network surveillance for foreign animal diseases.
  • Educate more local emergency managers, extension personnel, and producers on agro-terrorism threats and risk management to address the National Preparedness Goal of the U. S. Department of Homeland Security.
  • Expand education programs for producers on Good Biosecurity Practices for farms, ranches, and food processing facilities.
  • Continue working collaboratively with USDA APHIS restructuring the U.S. brucellosis and tuberculosis programs.
  • Complete an inventory of all beef animal feeding operations for environmental compliance.
  • Retrofit Beef Livestock Facilities with “waters of the state” discharge concerns within a 1-2 year period.
  • Develop an Animal disease traceability program consistent with anticipated federal requirements.

 

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