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Livestock Board accepting trich management suggestions

Written by Jennifer Womack
Cheyenne — Wyoming Livestock Board officials are asking industry members to offer their input on how trichomonias, a disease that causes infertility in cattle and early-term abortion, can best be addressed through state regulations.
    Fall 2009 board members will formally address the agency’s Chapter 15 rules that set forth testing requirements relating to the disease. In the meantime, the board has issued a directive that neighboring herds to those placed under quarantine for trich must be tested for the disease.
    According to Wyoming State Veterinarian Jim Logan, those bulls that test positive for trich are branded with a V on the left side of their tail head. Cattle carrying the mark can only be sold to slaughter and transported on a VS127 permit for quarantined cattle.
    “Virgin bulls are exempt,” says Logan. Neighboring herds to those placed under quarantine, he says, may be granted a testing waiver if they can prove that no fenceline contact or commingling has occurred.
    Those herds where trichomoniasis is found will be placed under quarantine until the bulls are tested free of the disease. If the disease is discovered, Logan says the cattle will have to be tested three times to ensure they’re clean. Bulls carry the disease in their reproductive tract. A single test doesn’t always determine trich’s presence and multiple tests are recommended to ensure a bull is free of the disease prior to turnout.
    There had been a proposal in Chapter 8 import rules that were open for public comment through Aug. 18 to end the important of open cows to breeding herds in the state unless they had a calf by their side. Logan says the board opted to leave the Chapter 8 rules intact in their present form with a complete re-write at a future date.  He says the rules, for more reasons than trich, are in need of more in-depth attention and revision.
    Cows are one aspect of trich that will need to be discussed when the board takes the issue up this fall as part of its Chapter 15 discussion. Logan says cows can carry the disease for over 200 days and some are chronic carriers (less than one percent). Studies show and producers, who’ve replaced their entire bull battery only to see the disease resurface, in recent years have proven that cows are a significant part of the disease equation.
    Logan says the primary goal for the time being is to address trich this season by testing bulls. In the meantime the board has asked him to carry out educational programs for the state’s livestock producers. Economically the disease is quite important given its potential to significantly reduce one’s calf crop.
    Wyoming Livestock Board Director Jim Schwartz says the disease is one of the more contentious issues his agency hears bout. While it’s not a widespread disease in terms of reported cases, it’s contentious issue on common allotments and amidst some neighbors when bulls breach fence lines.
    The Wyoming Livestock Board can be reached at 307-777-6443. Jennifer Womack is managing editor of the Wyoming Livestock Roundup. Send comments on this article to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..