Volume 3, Number 47 - February 19, 2004
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The U.S.D.A. Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service has denied Wyoming's request that it reconsider its revocation of Wyoming's class-free status.
Governor Dave Freudenthal had made the request following the identification of a second brucellosis-infected herd in Wyoming, arguing that the animals that tested positive in the Worland feedlot in fact originated in the initial Sublette County herd. The series of sales transactions that moved the animals meant that federal officials classified the cattle as part of a second herd, which triggered the loss of Wyoming's brucellosis-free status.
W. Ron DeHaven, APHIS deputy administrator for veterinary services, wrote that, pursuant to the finding of the first brucellosis-affected herd, "State and federal animal health officials have been working closely with Wyoming's livestock producers and industry and other state agencies to conduct a thorough and timely disease investigation.
"APHIS recognizes and appreciates the proactive measures and endeavors of the Wyoming livestock industry, the Wyoming Livestock Board and the Wyoming legislators," DeHaven continued. "The actions taken to date should facilitate meeting the standards necessary for Wyoming to regain its class-free status."
Freudenthal said the APHIS response was disappointing, but not surprising. Wyoming's livestock industry will be best served now, the governor said, if producers and state officials turn their sights toward continuing the positive response DeHaven identified.
"We were denied an exemption to the rules, which is of course disappointing," Freudenthal said. "Our best bet now is to do what we can to help producers caught in the middle, while we work toward recovering our class-free status next year."
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