Brucellosis positive herd to be depopulated
by Wyoming Livestock Board
September 8, 2008
The owner of a cattle herd near Daniel, Wyo. that is affected by the livestock disease brucellosis has decided to depopulate his herd, Wyoming State Veterinarian Walter Cook announced today.
Under the extension that was granted by the United States Department of Agriculture’s Animal Plant and Health Inspection Service, the rancher has until October 5, 2008 to have all sexually intact animals in his herd slaughtered. As a result, the State of Wyoming will keep its "brucellosis-free" status.
"The herd owner made this decision because he believed it was the best choice for his herd," Cook said. Another option was for the herd to remain under quarantine until the entire herd had been tested negative three times over the course of a year.
"He realized that to 'test-out' would require his herd to remain under quarantine for at least 12 months and it would have been very difficult to operate under those conditions in the spring and summer,"
Cook added. "He also realized it would cause problems with the herds that had fence-line contact with his herd." Any herd with fence-line or other contact with a known brucellosis affected herd must remain under quarantine as well.
Wyoming’s "brucellosis-free" status is still at risk. If another herd is found infected with the disease in the next two years, Wyoming will likely lose this status.
On Friday, September 5, the Wyoming State Veterinarian was notified that a cow was slaughtered in Nebraska that tested positive for brucellosis and has been preliminarily traced to a herd in Sublette County, Wyo.
Cook said the result has not yet been confirmed, and it may take weeks to determine if a new herd is infected. There is no known connection between this herd and the verified brucellosis-affected herd that will be depopulated. The owner of the herd that will be depopulated is aware that Wyoming may soon have a second infected herd and still prefers to depopulate his herd.
"Brucellosis will be a challenge that we face for many years to come in Wyoming," Cook said. "This decision was extremely difficult for this cattle owner to reach and we will continue to support him and other livestock operators as they work through this difficult time. Wyoming will make every effort to retain our brucellosis-free status."
For more information, contact Walter Cook, State Veterinarian, Cheyenne Office: 307-777-7515.