Volume 5, Number 38 - December 15, 2005
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Wyoming applies for brucellosis-free status
Wyoming animal health officials signed off on the state'sapplication for advancement from class A to class-free brucellosis status lastWednesday, with the application mailed to the regional brucellosisepidemiologist for the USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service onThursday, Dec. 8.
Dec. 5 was the first day that Wyoming was eligible to seekadvancement in status - that's one year from the date the last animalfrom an infected cattle herd was sent for slaughter, according to APHIS AreaVeterinarian In Charge Dr. Bret Combs.
Wyoming State Veterinarian Dr. Dwayne Oldham said that aftermeeting with the Wyoming Livestock Board this week, official action was takenfor livestock producers to gain class-free status.
Although state officials had hoped to have in hand the finalreport from a station review conducted by a federally appointed review teamthis summer, that report hasn't yet been received, Oldham said. Rather thanwait for that report, the state is moving forward.
Oldham said APHIS has made it clear that for Wyoming toobtain class-free status, it must institute a dealer-registration program. Adealer-registration law would require people who deal in cattle for a living tokeep adequate records to allow for faster and more accurate traceback of cattlemovements.
Oldham said animal health officials know what some of thereview team's recommendations will include. The team will want Wyoming toinstitute continued surveillance for brucellosis through first-point testing,such as at sale barns, as well as change-of-ownership testing in a six-county area of western Wyoming.
"We've got to get a comfort level to the other stateveterinarians," Oldham said, by demonstrating that surveillance is continuingand Wyoming's cattle are disease-free.
Oldham said the state's application details all the effortsundertaken to ensure the state's cattle herds remain brucellosis-free,including the institution of individual cattle herd plans, brucellosismanagement action plans for elk herds and the vaccination of heifer cattle.
While the state's application must make its way throughAPHIS, Oldham has hope that if the dealer-registration program is approved andWyoming demonstrates its commitment to move forward in surveillance andmonitoring, class-free status could be in place before next fall.
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