Wyoming Livestock Board redefines Brucellosis Area of Concern boundaries – March 22, 2018
Now excluding Sheridan County and a large portion of Big Horn County, the boundaries of the Brucellosis Area of Concern have been redefined by the Wyoming Livestock Board (WLSB) to include only Wyoming Game & Fish Department (WGFD) Hunt Areas 39, 40, and 41, located in Big Horn County.The Board voted to refine the Area of Concern boundaries at its meeting on Feb. 26, and Governor Mead gave his approval of the action on March 21, making the new boundaries effective on that date.
“This will impact many fewer cattle producers from the area of concern, and we hope it will also cause other states to reduce their brucellosis test requirements on Big Horn County producers exporting cattle,” said Wyoming State Veterinarian Dr. Jim Logan.
As a result of finding two brucellosis sero-positive elk in WGFD Hunt Area 41, located in Big Horn County outside of the Wyoming Designated Surveillance Area (DSA) boundaries, the Wyoming Livestock Board designated Big Horn and Sheridan counties as a Brucellosis Area of Concern in 2013. Since that designation, ranchers in both counties have been voluntarily testing their herds and no brucellosis in cattle has been found.
Since 2013, WGFD has conducted hunter-killed elk surveillance in both counties as well as an elk radio-collared movement study on the Northern Bighorn Elk Herd Unit. In addition, WLSB veterinary staff has been working with WGFD to determine elk locations during the elk abortion risk season and elk calving season to identify the more specific area that is most likely at risk for brucellosis exposure from elk. Their findings led WLSB veterinary staff to recommend that its board redefine the Area of Concern boundaries.
Moving forward, Dr. Logan said the WLSB “will employ a more scientific and risk-based approach – as opposed to the original geographic approach – to identify the Area of Concern boundaries.”
For more information on Brucellosis and the Wyoming Brucellosis Area of Concern boundaries, please contact the Wyoming Livestock Board Field Office at 307-857-4140.