Wyoming Livestock Board discusses animal health, progress toward rule reduction during meeting
Jackson – The Wyoming Livestock Board (WLSB) discussed a number of important topics, including updates from Wyoming Governor Matt Mead, progress toward streamlining rules and updates on animal health.
“We had the industry listening session and a number of individual updates,” said WLSB Director Leanne Correll. “The Governor also came and visited with the board.”
“We were very excited to have Governor Mead address the Board and express what is going on,” Correll said. “He visited us with almost a year ago, and he was pleased with the progress we have made.”
“I want to support the structure that is in place at the WLSB,” Mead said. “I want to support those changes that are being made, as well.”
Correll added that Mead asked the WLSB to work on clarifying some of the unnecessarily vague elements of the organization, including interpretation of roles of Board members, last year.
WLSB President Liz Philp noted that the Board updated Mead on their progress in redefining the roles within the WLSB.
“He also addressed our budget request,” Correll said. “He also alerted us as to some changes with our compensation packages for employees.”
“Governor Mead also asked us to support some of his budget requests,” Philp said.
Mead also addressed the organization’s operation and noted he is supportive and aware of changes going forward.
In compliance with Mead’s rule reduction initiative, the WLSB has been working to consolidate rules.
“The big change is that we are taking the current Chapter 17, 18 and 19 rules and combining them into one set of rules that will be the new Chapter 17,” Correll said.
The rules, Correll explained, had a lot of duplication in definitions. At the same time, there was confusion in where to look for rules.
“Previously, we had instate range movement permits, out of state range movement permits and seasonal brand permits all in separate chapters,” she explained. “We are making these rules more consistent.”
There were also differences in wording that complicated the rules.
“They are more consistent and easier to read,” Correll said. “Instead of creating confusion, we have them wrapped into one chapter.”
State Veterinarian Jim Logan also updated the WLSB on the status of brucellosis within the state.
“There was discussion on the elk and cattle surveillance in Big Horn and Sheridan counties,” Correll noted. “There has been one positive elk sample from the Wyoming Game and Fish Department’s hunter surveillance program.”
While the announcement was not unexpected or alarming, she added that the WLSB will continue to do surveillance voluntarily to obtain a handle on the disease prevalence.
“The good news is, we are getting some good surveillance on cull cows and seeing some that comes from preg checking,” Correll said. “We encourage producers to continue with their voluntary surveillance from the marketing perspective.”
As Wyoming producers continue to be diligent in testing for brucellosis, Correll noted that the marketability of Wyoming’s cattle will remain higher.
The law enforcement sector of the WLSB also addressed the Board.
“With the changes the WLSB is making and our reorganization, we had several of the law enforcement investigators attend the meeting,” Correll said. “They talked about the way we are working with law enforcement across the state to do more education and outreach.”
Correll explained that the law enforcement investigators of the WLSB are working with Highway Patrol, county sheriff’s offices and local law enforcement to provide education.
“Law enforcement is a big piece, and we are moving forward,” she added.
During the industry listening session segment, Correll and Philp noted that producers raising cattle in the designated surveillance area emphasized their concern and the difficulty imposed by restrictions.
“It is always interesting to hear from producers and to hear comments about the DSA,” Philp said. “We appreciate people who let us know what is going on.”
The next meeting of the WLSB will occur in conjunction with the beginning of the 2014 legislative session.
“The WLSB is looking forward to their next meeting being a part of the legislative session,” Correll added.
The Wyoming Livestock Board (WLSB) is moving toward computerization, making big steps.
“The effort is moving forward,” said WLSB Director Leanne Correll.
Though the effort is slower on the front end of development, Correll noted that as the software company begins to understand the requirements of the WLSB, progress will go more quickly.
“Within the next month and a half, we are going to roll out our landing page, so the public will get a sneak preview of what it will look like,” she said. “It is exciting to see progress toward computerization.”