Monday, March 5, 2012

More Cow Tattoos

We bangs vaccinated our heifers on Friday. This vaccination is required by law in Wyoming for all breeding heifers, and must be given prior to one year of age. Our heifers were born starting in late March, 2011, so we were fine in the age department.
I went over the actual process last year, and you can read that post here. Today, I'm going to give a little more information on why we bangs vaccinate, and why it is a law in Wyoming.
The shot must be administered by a vet, who will also give the heifer a tattoo her in ear, and an official bangs vaccination tag. A bangs shot protects the heifer, and her future offspring, from the disease brucellosis.
Brucellosis is a bacterial disease that can affect cattle, elk, bison/buffalo, and humans. In cattle it will cause abortions, and there is no known cure for infected animals. Here are a couple links to some information on the disease in Wyoming
While it has been eradicated in most of the U.S., the elk and buffalo populations, especially in the Greater Yellowstone Area, mean we still have to be very diligent in our fight against the disease in Wyoming. Cattle can contract the disease by coming into contact with an infected elk or buffalo placenta, and this is the most common means of a cow contracting the disease. The most critical time of year is coming up in late spring and early summer, when these wildlife species will have their young, and potential infect cattle herds. This isn't a very big concern in Eastern Wyoming, where I'm from, but causes a lot of issues for ranchers in the Western part of the state. However, as the elk populations continue to explode, and inhabit new areas, the level of concern will also increase where I live.
Personally, I feel that the government should be held to the same standard of disease control that we as livestock owners embrace and practice to ensure our herds remain disease free.

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