Brucellosis probe spurs one rancher to spay herd

Laramie, Wyo. – A leader in the livestock industry says the decision by a western rancher to sterilize 750 cows rather than test for brucellosis is a sign that something is wrong with the current rules.

The assistant state veterinarian says a rancher spayed animals that had contact with a herd near Daniel that tested positive last month for the disease.

The rancher had the choice of testing for brucellosis, slaughtering the herd or spaying the animals.

But Jim Magagna of the Wyoming Stock Growers Association says those are not viable options.

"There's a frustration over the rigidity of the rules that we are operating under today," he says.

Magagna says the state needs to offer more choices beyond slaughtering or sterilizing potentially infected animals. Wyoming will lose its coveted brucellosis-free status if a second infected herd is discovered within two years.