From the pages of
Sublette Examiner
Volume 4, Number 16 - July 15, 2004
brought to you online by Pinedale Online

New brucellosis case

by Cat Urbigkit

Ongoing tests have turned up a new positive case of brucellosis among cattle in the Jackson area, state officials announced last week.

The 13-year-old cow was first identified in late June, when it was tested as part of a herd-wide move to summer pasture in Idaho. It produced the only positive result of the 105-head herd, and tissue samples were sent to the National Veterinary Services Laboratory in Ames, Iowa, for further testing. Testing confirmed the positive results.

"These results deal a further setback to Wyoming's livestock producers, already struggling with challenges facing the industry," Governor Dave Freudenthal said. "What is important to remember is that testing is doing its job, and the state will continue doing everything it can to see that we regain our class-free status."

Wyoming can regain its brucellosis-free status by complying with the provisions of Class A status for one year if no new infection is found within that time. With the new infection, the one-year provision restarts.

The state received Class A status earlier this year, when the second of two infected herds were found in the state. Essentially, the requirements for states with Class A status are that all test-eligible cattle shall be tested for brucellosis within 30 days prior to change of ownership and/or interstate movement. If cattle are going directly to slaughter from the farm or ranch of origin and the identity of the herd of origin is maintained, they are exempt from this test requirement.

"The bottom line is that there is no guarantee that this isn't going to happen again, but the only way we will be able to make certain we have clean herds is to test them and deal with them as they are found," said State Veterinarian Dr. Jim Logan.

At this point, the owner of the infected herd can choose to depopulate or to quarantine the herd until a series of negative test results come back over an extended period of time. Veterinarians with the state and the U.S. Department of Agriculture Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service are working to track down and test contact herds. Both the original herd and one of the identified contact herds are currently under quarantine. All identified contact herds will be tested in the fall when they come in from summer pasture.

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