Wyoming Livestock Board endorses move to facilitate bison trade with Canada
CHEYENNE, WY – The National Bison Association today commended the Wyoming Livestock Board for its unanimous decision to authorize changes in the bovine tuberculosis (TB) testing for bison coming into the state from certified TB-Free provinces of Canada.
The policy change endorsed by the Livestock Board today will eliminate the TB testing requirements for bison and cattle being imported into Wyoming finishing facilities, and will reduce the testing requirements for bison and cattle imported onto ranches and other production operations.
The change was prompted by a request from the National Bison Association and Canadian Bison Association, which have worked in concert with Canadian trade officials to address the issue with Wyoming livestock authorities.
“Because the buffalo business is relatively small, but rapidly growing, we rely heavily upon Canadian producers to supply a significant portion of the animals that are going into retail stores, and onto restaurant menus. In addition, the genetics available in the Canadian herds are extremely important as we work to restore bison herds across North America,” said John Flocchini, a Wyoming rancher who serves as President of the National Bison Association.
The move by the Wyoming Livestock Board will align the state’s import rules with the regulations now in place in Colorado, Oklahoma, Kansas, and other states that source Canadian bison.
In 2006, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) accredited Canada’s Bovine TB eradication program in a thorough evaluation process. All provinces except Manitoba have been recognized as TB-Free in that audit. The new regulations will not apply to animals imported from Manitoba.
The National Bison Association represents nearly 1,000 ranchers, processors and marketers dedicated to restoring American buffalo as a part of the American diet, and American ecosystem. Information on bison issues is available at http://www.bisoncentral.com.
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A pasture or lot with plenty of grass or bedding and windbreak is important when calving in the cold.