Gov. Challenges Rejection of Brucellosis-Free Status

Laramie, Wy – Wyoming is about to ask the federal government to reconsider revoking that state's brucellosis-free status.
Governor Freudenthal wants the U-S-D-A to consider the link between six cattle that recently tested positive for the disease in a feedlot in northern Wyoming and 31 cattle that tested positive in western Wyoming last month.
Under federal rules, confirmation of the disease in more than one herd results in revocation of a state's brucellosis-free status.
But Governor Freudenthal's spokeswoman, Lara Azar, says the link between the cattle is close enough to warrant another look. She says the governor will sign the request either Friday or Monday.
The cattle were sold from the western Wyoming herd to one feedlot in the town of Worland. They were then sold back before being sold to another feedlot in Worland.
Bret Combs is a veterinarian with the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service. He says it's Wyoming's prerogative to make such a request, and that APHIS will consider it when it comes in.
As things stand, Wyoming will join Texas and Missouri as the only states not considered brucellosis-free when the change is published in the Federal Register in about three weeks.
Brucellosis causes abortions in cows. It can also cause chronic flu-like symptoms in people who work with infected animals or eat contaminated animal products such as unpasteurized milk.