The Kansas Animal Health Department unveiled a program in Great Bend this week aimed at halting the spread of animal disease and identifying the source within 48 hours. The "Locate 48" campaign aims to increase the number of livestock premises registered through a national disease trace-back program. Just shy of 15% of such premises in Kansas are currently registered.

The need for animal trace-back came to a head in December 2003 after the first U.S. case of mad cow disease was discovered in Washington state. Bryan Rickard, Kansas Animal ID System manager, says the program is aimed at protecting Kansas' annual $12 billion livestock industry. The program includes sending brochures to all unregistered premises, a billboard and advertising.

As of May 5, a total of 461,846 livestock premises in the U.S., or 32.1%, have been registered. To learn more about the National Animal Identification System, visit: