Message from Wyoming State Veterinarian to Sheep industry
By Dr. Hallie Hasel, DVM
Thank you for the warm welcome I’ve received as the Wyoming State Veterinarian. It’s an honor to serve Wyoming’s livestock industry. Also, thank you to Dr. Logan for the tremendous education and outreach he provided Wyoming producers throughout his career.
One of my first opportunities as the Wyoming State Veterinarian was to attend the Wyoming Wool Growers Summer Meeting in Lander. I sincerely enjoyed meeting the members and learning about Wyoming’s sheep industry.
The Wyoming Livestock Board (WLSB) continues to address items of concern to sheep producers, including disease traceability, Bluetongue and the interaction between domestic sheep and Bighorn sheep.
Animal disease traceability in sheep is accomplished through scrapie tags, the official identification tag for sheep. As disease traceability evolves, so must our rules, identification devices and method of reporting.
The WLSB is in the process of reviewing our rules and identifying those which may require revision. We encourage sheep producers to notify the WLSB regarding our current rules, including those for import/export of domestic sheep, if they have concerns with current requirements and would like to discuss possible changes.
In terms of health concerns to sheep producers, Bluetongue is an insect-borne, viral disease of sheep, and, unfortunately, endemic in Wyoming. Biting midges spread the disease, which typically occurs in late summer and fall.
Affected sheep may exhibit fever, salivation, depression, lameness and reddened and ulcerated muzzles, lips and ears. The tongue may become swollen and appear blue in color due to lack of oxygen. Please contact your veterinarian immediately if any of these clinical signs are noticed. This disease may cause serious economic loss for sheep producers.
The Bighorn Sheep-Domestic Sheep Interaction Working Group continues to remain active within Wyoming. As the Wyoming State Veterinarian, I will continue an active role within this group.
Social media sites are currently under development by the WLSB. Stay tuned to our website for further updates. We’ll post emergency announcements and other items of interest on our Facebook site in the near future. We are also updating our commonly used producer forms, with several available on our website.
I look forward to meeting livestock producers throughout our state in the coming months.
Dr. Hallie Hasel is the Wyoming State Veterinarian. She may be reached at 307-777-7515 or by e-mail at email@example.com.