WLSB hosts public meeting for comment on HB 180
The Wyoming Livestock Board (WLSB) staff veterinarians hosted a public meeting Oct. 24 at the Sublette County Library in Pinedale. The meeting was offered via Zoom to those who could not attend in person.
WLSB is seeking input from livestock producers, veterinarians, Extension specialists, meat processors and others in relation to House Bill (HB) 180 and how protocol is being developed.
HB 180 was adopted into law in February 2023 and became effective in July 2023. It requires WLSB to establish a communication protocol with producers, veterinarians and brand inspectors regarding non-negative brucellosis results.
HB 180 review
Wyoming State Veterinarian Dr. Hallie Hasel and Assistant State Field Veterinarian Dr. Teckla Webb began the meeting with a brief review of brucellosis and Wyoming’s current vaccination requirements, then fielded numerous questions regarding the state’s brucellosis protocol.
WLSB Director Steve True introduced and reviewed HB 180 with those in attendance.
According to the state of Wyoming 2023 Legislation website, the WLSB may release any information related to a confirmed non-negative brucellosis test in the county where the animal testing non‑negative is located, subject to W.S. 11‑18‑103(a)(xii), and may release information collected for the purposes of a livestock identification program related to the ownership and location of individual animals to the extent the information helps control or prevent a disease outbreak or to show particular animals or herds are not involved in a disease outbreak.
Regarding HB 180, Hasel reiterated, “The state veterinarian shall provide testing information to the owner of an animal which has tested non-negative for brucellosis no later than three days after receipt of the preliminary laboratory results.”
“Three days is not long in laboratory work,” Hasel stated. “Although most vets are notified the same day, it could take longer.”
She continued, “The herd veterinarian, owner or manager of the cattle will be notified within 72 hours of a non-negative result, but it could be negative, a false-positive or a reactor because the results are coming from the state lab, not the national lab.”
Hasel noted WLSB and the state vet lab are anticipating being able to share testing protocol numbers and data collected from Wyomingʼs Designated Surveillance Area on the WLSB website by July 2024, similar to what Idaho and Montana do.
“All of the data can be put out there so anyone can go and read about what is happening, which is what we are trying to do,” she added.
A variety of questions were addressed at the public meeting. One common question was on the brucellosis testing process and timeline, which can range from two to 14 days to confirm results.
Webb’s presentation addressed the gradient of brucellosis test results, which can range on a scale from zero to 250, with zero being a negative result and 250 being a reactor. The scale allows for gray areas and complicates brucellosis testing for everyone involved.
Hasel and Webb addressed questions from the group on performing brucellosis vaccinations, when to administer booster vaccinations and how to maintain a risk assessment and herd plan while being able to track vaccinated cows.
True and Hasel answered questions about confidentiality statutes and how the communication process would occur after the herd owner has been notified.
“A standard basic quarantine will be released,” Hasel concluded. “We want to send out a standard protocol to be published on the WLSB website, but until we can do this, we can attach it as a link on our Facebook page.”
Melissa Anderson is the editor of the Wyoming Livestock Roundup. Send comments on this article to email@example.com.