Volume 4, Number 31 - October 28, 2004
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Two more county herds quarantined
Hundreds of Sublette County cattle are once again under quarantine and awaiting testing for brucellosis.
The two Sublette County cattle herds belong to outfits operated by Chuck Bacheller and Gary Lozier, while the third herd is located in Teton County and belongs to Bob Lucas.
These herds were in fenceline contact with a Teton County herd in which one cow was found to have been infected with the disease earlier this summer. The entire Teton County herd was subsequently destroyed to reduce the risk of transmission.
In August, then-State Veterinarian Dr. Jim Logan said that the two Sublette County herds would be bled this fall once they returned to their home ranches. These herds were not put under quarantine at that time, although the third herd, from Teton County, was put under quarantine on its public lands grazing allotment.
Dr. Dwayne Oldham, five days on the job as the new state vet, issued the new quarantine orders last Friday. He said it was standard procedure that the herds be quarantined and that whole-herd tests of all test eligible cattle would be conducted.
Although this year’s calves aren’t test eligible, they are also subject to quarantine. The quarantine order was issued on the same day Bacheller’s calves were sold with a price any cattleman would envy, but Oldham said the calves can’t be shipped.
Only once the adult cows from the herd test clean will the calves be released from quarantine.
Oldham said there obviously had been a communication problem between animal health officials and the producer in this circumstance.
“The deal is he is not allowed to sell those,” Oldham said, adding that if the calves were shipped and then infected cows were found in the herd, the calves would have been placed into a breeding herd somewhere else, making the way for spreading disease.
Oldham said he called Bacheller to tell him the quarantine order was coming in the mail and learned about the sale in that manner. Oldham said being on the job a few days, he “didn’t feel it was a smart thing to do” to send the written quarantine order without a phone call first.
The Bacheller herd is slated for bleeding by animal health officials on Nov. 9, Oldham said. The other herd owners are coordinating testing dates so that preg testing occurs at the same time, Oldham said, minimizing the amount of handling.
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