Lander, WY – Ranchers and livestock officials say a western Wyoming rancher who has seen more than 20 of his cattle test positive for brucellosis would have much to lose and little to gain by slaughtering his entire herd.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture is pushing the rancher to slaughter the animals. If he doesn't do that, Wyoming will lose its federal brucellosis-free status.
Loss of that status would mean additional testing requirements for Wyoming cattle. But ranchers throughout western Wyoming must already submit their cattle to additional testing because they're in a brucellosis surveillance area.
Meanwhile, the rancher likely has spent years breeding his cattle to improve his herd. Livestock officials point out that the rancher could preserve some of that effort through "test and slaughter" - testing his cattle and killing only those that test positive.