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Animal Health

Herd to be depopulated, new infected cow found

Written by Christy Hemken
Daniel – On Sept. 5 the Daniel producer whose herd tested positive for brucellosis made the decision to depopulate his herd.
    A third round of testing conducted in late August resulted in three additional reactors. Wyoming Livestock Board (WLSB) officials say an appraiser paid by the USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) and agreed upon by APHIS and the producer will value the herd. The producer will receive slaughter price and APHIS will reconcile the difference between slaughter price and actual value. The cattle must be appraised and depopulated by Oct. 5.
    The herd will be sent to an APHIS-approved slaughter plant in a move coordinated by both the agency and the producer. There are approximately 600 adult cattle plus the additional calves.
Related to that case, a routine blood test of a cow slaughtered in Nebraska tested positive for brucellosis in a Kansas lab. Records indicate the cow traces back to a second herd in Sublette County, this one near Bondurant. A small portion of that herd is scheduled for testing Sept. 12, but the majority of them will remain on public lands throughout October, with test results in by early November.
    Wyoming State Veterinarian Walt Cook says the Bondurant producer did ship some older cows, so it’s possible the cow was a Strain 19 titer. However, he says it’s a high titer – higher than expected – but it’s still a possibility.
    Cook says there’s no indication the cow found in Nebraska traces back to the Daniel herd.
    Currently the WLSB is searching for contact herds and will follow the same procedures as the first herd. Wyoming Assistant State Veterinarian Jim Logan says he hopes to minimize quarantine and testing requirements on both sets of contact herds.
    “The first contact herds were automatically quarantined, but we’re trying to figure out how much of a quarantine is necessary,” he explains. “We may just need to quarantine and test parts or certain units of herds.”
    Cook says the Daniel producer was well aware of the positive cow in Nebraska and its implications before he made his depopulation decision.
    If the Daniel herd is depopulated within the allotted amount of time, Logan says Wyoming may dodge a bullet in terms of maintaining its class-free brucellosis status. “The new herd will be tested in its entirety, and the state’s status will depend on what’s found in that herd,” he says.
    “It’s not an automatic loss of status just because one cow tests positive,” he adds.
    Christy Hemken is assistant editor of the Wyoming Livestock Roundup and can be reached at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..