Livestock board fine-tunes contact list
Cheyenne – When bluetongue broke out among sheep herds in the Big Horn Basin last fall, Wyoming Livestock Board Agency Director Jim Schwartz says he had no way to contact area livestock producers.
“I didn’t even have a list of the people who raise sheep in that region,” says Schwartz. “I really got egg on my face over that and I don’t intend to let it happen again.” Some of the information Schwartz needs to develop contact lists exists within the agency and he’s working to better organize that part of WLSB records.
“We’re forming a contact database,” he says. “We’re looking up all the active brands, which is about 8,500 out of 30,000 that are registered. I also have animal health files, so we’ll be integrating the brand and health records into one confidential database that will only be used if we get an outbreak of something on the reportable disease list. We’re creating the list with information that’s already public.”
“The database,” says Schwartz, “is going to give me some way to let the industry know in the case of an outbreak. I want to be open about it. I want producers to know it’s there to be used in the case of an emergency. As the WLSB is charged with protecting the state’s livestock industry we want to have a tool to provide updates in the event something happens.”
Jennifer Womack is editor of the Wyoming Livestock Roundup. Send comments on this article to firstname.lastname@example.org.