Two More WY Cattle React to Brucellosis Tests


The following is a press release from the Wyoming Livestock Board.  A story from the Associated Press follows this release.

The Wyoming Livestock Board (WLSB) recently received serological test results from USDA’s National Veterinary Services Laboratories (NVSL), Ames, Iowa indicating that two 13 month old heifers originating from a cattle herd in Park County, WY are Brucellosis test reactors. The 2 heifers were tested as part of a group of 30 heifers to comply with WLSB Chapter 2 Rules which require breeding heifers originating in Wyoming’s Designated Surveillance Area to be tested prior to change of ownership.

The heifers will be taken to the Wyoming State Veterinary Laboratory in Laramie, WY to conduct further bacteriological testing. An epidemiologic investigation of the case is now underway, and further testing in the herd of origin and adjacent herds is planned. Preliminary investigation of the case suggests brucellosis-infected elk in the immediate area of the cattle herd as the most likely source for the infection.


The following article is from the Associated Press:

CHEYENNE, Wyo. – Livestock officials say two cattle in northwest Wyoming have tested positive for exposure to brucellosis, the first cases of the bacterial disease in the state since February.

The 13-month-old heifers originated on a ranch in the Meeteetse area in Park County. About half a dozen cattle have been confirmed with brucellosis exposure in the county within the past year, including the case seven months ago.

The latest positive test results came back recently from a U.S. Department of Agriculture lab in Ames, Iowa. The cattle were among 30 heifers that were tested because they came from a brucellosis surveillance zone that extends around the Yellowstone region and includes all of Park County, Wyoming Livestock Board officials said Wednesday.

Brucellosis is a bacterial disease that originates in elk and bison. The disease can cause cattle to abort their calves.

Previous cases in Wyoming have been traced to elk but more testing was needed to determine the origin of the latest cases, State Veterinarian Jim Logan said.

In years past, the detection of brucellosis in two or more herds within two years would have cost Wyoming its status as a federally designated brucellosis-free state. Loss of the status would subject cattle from the state to additional testing requirements.

Requirements for quarantining and testing cattle in the brucellosis surveillance zone have enabled Wyoming to keep its status under a federal rule change last year.

“So at this point, we aren’t really in any jeopardy of losing the status,” Logan said.

Logan was attending a national meeting of state veterinarians in Buffalo, N.Y., and said he planned to ask his counterparts in other states not to impose new brucellosis testing requirements for Wyoming cattle, which hasn’t happened in a few years.

He said he didn’t expect a high level of concern about Wyoming’s brucellosis in other states: “I don’t expect anything to change.”

The presence of brucellosis in Park County’s elk makes it “kind of inevitable” that cattle will get the disease, said Jim Magagna, executive vice president of the Wyoming Stock Growers Association.

“To me, more than anything it puts renewed emphasis on the fact that we’ve got to put more resources — federally and hopefully state as well — into research into vaccines,” Magagna said.

Source:  Associated Press

Posted by Haylie Shipp


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