The number of cattle nationwide is at its lowest since the 1950s. Wyoming’s population is just under 1.3 million, down 5% from last year and the lowest since the early 1990s. Drought has caused many ranchers in the state to sell off cattle.
Executive Vice President of the Wyoming Stock Growers Association, Jim Magagna, says some older ranchers with smaller operations liquidated their herds altogether and he predicts those cattle will not be replaced for close to a decade.
New research shows that wolves in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem tend to shadow herds of elk.
Matt Kauffman with the Wyoming Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit is one of the report’s authors. He says their findings could help ranchers protect their livestock, because elk often graze among cattle.
“When ranchers move their cattle into grazing allotments that overlap with those resident elk areas, that might be a time to increase the amount of attention they pay to those cattle, with range riders and that type of thing,” Kauffman said.
Fires burning around Wyoming are impacting livestock, in addition to people. The Wyoming Livestock Board estimates that between 8,000 and almost 13,000 head have been displaced as a result of the fires.
Board Director Leanne Stevenson, says the board issued an emergency order allowing for the movement of livestock between county lines without the brand inspection that is normally required.
Authorities are investigating a factory pork farm in Wheatland after the Humane Society filed a complaint about harsh treatment of pigs there.
The Humane Society sent an undercover investigator to work at Wyoming Premium Farmsfor an unknown period of time, where she filmed workers kicking piglets and punching sows. The group sent complaints and videos to the Platte County Sheriff’s Office and the Wyoming Livestock Board. The sheriff was unavailable for comment, but Jim Siler of the Livestock Board says they’ve begun investigating conditions at the farm.