Daniel herd tests brucellosis-positive again
by Cat Urbigkit, Pinedale Online!
July 24, 2008
The Daniel cattle herd that tested positive for brucellosis last month was retested again this week and seven more animals are seropositive reactors, according to Wyoming State Veterinarian Dr. Walt Cook.
In June, the herd was tested after routine surveillance testing associated with a sale barn revealed two animals from the Daniel ranch were brucellosis reactors. The producer's entire purebred and commercial herds were bled for testing – some 600 animals – and a total of 26 animals tested positive for the disease. This second round of testing, with seven more animals, brings the total to 33.
This livestock producer has apparently decided to enter into a long-term quarantine and test program in attempt to save his herd, rather than allow the entire herd to be sent to slaughter and accept a federal indemnity payment.
Other local cattle producers have expressed support for whatever decision the cattleman makes in this case, even though about a dozen other herds that had contact with the infected herd must now be tested and Wyoming will be downgraded to Class A market status if the herd isn't slaughtered.
Many producers in this area have great sympathy for the Daniel family faced with the current brucellosis crisis, knowing that it could have happened to any one of them (us). Although cattle producers vaccine their calves against brucellosis, modern vaccines are unable to handle the challenge Yellowstone-area brucellosis provides. With wildlife in the region serving as a reservoir for the disease, there is no end to the potential for brucellosis outbreaks in local cattle herds. It should be noted that at this time, the epidemiological investigation has not yet pinpointed the original source of the outbreak.