From the pages of
Sublette Examiner
Volume 4, Number 13 - June 24, 2004
brought to you online by Pinedale Online

Federal vet & federal review coming soon

by Cat Urbigkit

At last week's Wyoming Brucellosis Task Force meeting in Lander, Dr. Bret Combs of the USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service announced that his agency has decided to place a full-time federal veterinarian position in western Wyoming, most likely based in Sublette County.

"It's a done deal," Combs said.

Combs said that the vet will be stationed in the Sublette County area and that with the application period nearly closed, there were "a slew" of applications for the position.

Much of the vet's position will focus on brucellosis, Combs said, but other animal-health issues will be addressed as well. Combs said placing a vet in this area sets the agency in a better position for the future as animal-health issues emerge and must be dealt with. He also commented that there is no shortage of such issues in the Greater Yellowstone region and the issues certainly aren't decreasing.

The federal vet will work out of his or her home, like other field personnel do, Combs said, adding that he hopes the person is hired and in the area by late summer or early fall.

Combs also said that Wyoming Veterinarian Dr. Jim Logan said he will soon be sending a letter to federal officials requesting a brucellosis station review. This would kick off the process of having a federal brucellosis review team appointed which would then visit Wyoming, conducting an investigation into efforts to assess risks of brucellosis transmission, evaluate measures to prevent disease exposure and an evaluation of further options for control and eradication of the disease. The team would present its report to state officials, who would then take into consideration the team's recommendations. It now appears the review will be conducted this fall, setting the stage for Wyoming to seek its brucellosis-free status after the one-year testing benchmark is reached next February.

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