"Feds praise disease efforts" !!?

Yes that’s headline in the Casper Star Tribune in a story that Wyoming has regained its “brucellosis free” status from the federal agency Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS).

The Star-Tribune said that Jerry Diemer, associate director of veterinary services for APHIS “congratulated the Livestock Board, the governor’s brucellosis task force, the Wyoming Game and Fish Department and the state’s cattle producers “ ‘for all your hard work. I want you to know that that work is recognized by other states.’ ”

The rest of the article is full of notes of caution, indicating this may be temporary (I agree) because the conditions that caused the spread are still there and Wyoming seems politically incapable of action that would rid the elk of this livestock disease. I mean Wyoming Game and Fish keeps feeding the elk at winter feedlots, drawing them into unnatural proximity, and like a cold in crowded school classroom, the disease is spread.

However, they don’t test children for antibodies for past colds and shoot those that test postive, but last winter Wyoming experimented testing elk that way and shooting them. The rest were allowed onto the feedgrounds where it is likely the “false negatives” passed the actual disease on to some of those elk with no antibodies.

Of course we need to remember the real theat to elk in Wyoming is wolves, who not only eat the elk but push them off the winter feedlots. 😉

Oh, here’s the story in the Casper Star-Tribune. Feds Praise Disease Efforts.







  1. Robert Hoskins Avatar

    I continue to berate the press, as I did Brodie Farquhar yesterday who wrote this article, for ignoring the real issue: that the brucellosis problem is a fraud and that the real problem facing the livestock industry is how to sustain itself as an oligarchy, hanging on to its political power to control land use policy and economic privileges (e.g., control of forage) in the face of the drastically changing demographics in the West. This is what is behind the tragedy of both elk and bison management in the Greater Yellowstone.

    Another problem is that the so-called conservation groups also ignore the real problem; they’re afraid to criticize the livestock industry. Too many rich wannabe hobby ranchers on boards of directors these days.

    It’s people like Ralph and the Buffalo Field Campaign who keep the facts out in the open. It’s time to go after the conservation groups and the press for failing to report the facts.


Dr. Ralph Maughan is professor emeritus of political science at Idaho State University. He was a Western Watersheds Project Board Member off and on for many years, and was also its President for several years. For a long time he produced Ralph Maughan’s Wolf Report. He was a founder of the Greater Yellowstone Coalition. He and Jackie Johnson Maughan wrote three editions of “Hiking Idaho.” He also wrote “Beyond the Tetons” and “Backpacking Wyoming’s Teton and Washakie Wilderness.” He created and is the administrator of The Wildlife News.

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