WLSB update: Animal health among discussions at WLSB meeting
Pinedale – Wyoming Livestock Board (WLSB) President Shaun Sims called the board’s most recent public meeting to order on June 20, initiating various topics of discussion. After brief introductions and the approval of the April minutes, WLSB Director Steve True began with updates.
First, True noted Wyoming brand inspectors will receive a pay increase.
“We are happy to announce an 8.5 percent pay increase has been approved for our local brand inspectors, and I would like to thank the board and Gov. Mark Gordon for the brand inspectors’ compensation increase,” he stated.
True further informed the board, “Future legislative topics to be discussed this fall include changes in indemnity rates, reimbursement rates for quarantined livestock and the hide inspection statute. The next Joint Agriculture Committee meeting will be held in Pinedale in early September.”
True proposed two action items for board approval. He requested funding to update the operating system and funding to revise the livestock website.
“Updating the website and making it more interactive will allow for better communication between producers and the state,” True explained.
Both action items passed.
Brand inspection and recording updates
Lee Romsa, WLSB brand commissioner, reviewed information discussed on delinquent brands at the Wyoming Stock Growers Association (WSGA) Convention held June 7-9 in Riverton.
District brand inspectors are currently undergoing training to reduce the number of individuals on the delinquent list.
“We have developed district training events to facilitate ways to identify and contact individuals who are on the delinquent list. Many of the state’s brand inspectors know the rightful owner personally and can contact them directly,” he said.
Romsa stated, “Over the summer, state brand inspectors visit many venues, but it is a slack time for inspections.”
However, state brand inspectors stay busy dur- ing the summer working events, such as the College National Finals Rodeo and the National High School Finals Rodeo, which will be held July 16-22.
Romsa concluded his updates with a brief review of the new brand inspec- tor wages going into effect and thanked the inspectors for their dedication and hard work.
Animal health updates
Wyoming State Veteri- narian Dr. Hallie Hasel and Assistant State Field Veterinarian Dr. Teckla Webb updated the board on brucellosis risk mitigation plans and addressed questions around the new report of a confirmed brucellosis case in Sweetwater County.
Board conversations developed around the brucellosis standard testing protocol.
Hasel stated, “Wyoming’s voluntary custom slaughter brucellosis surveillance program is vital to our state.”
She further informed the board the comment period ended for the chapter rules. The board discussed and approved Chapter Six, Brucellosis Risk Mitigation Activities and Compensation – Emergency Rule and Chapter 25, Brucellosis Quarantine Mitigation Expense.
Webb then walked the board through a brief presentation on brucellosis and how to create a brucellosis mitigation plan.
Webb continued to describe a mitigation plan, stating, “The plan is composed of two parts, the risk assessment and risk mitigation and can be created for any operation, but is especially important for producers in the designated surveillance area.”
“Documented brucellosis mitigation plans offer multiple benefits to the producer, and the plans are flexible, confidential, renewed yearly and not legally binding,” stated Webb.
Webb noted, “For the mitigation plan to be effective, they need to work, and by having an effective plan, producers are reducing brucellosis risk.”
Public comments were presented and discussed to conclude the board meeting.
The next board meeting will be held Aug. 22 in Rock Springs. Venue and time will be announced at a later date.
Melissa Anderson is the editor of the Wyoming Live-stock Roundup. Send comments on this article to firstname.lastname@example.org.