Monday, October 31, 2016

WSDA hits the rodeo circuit to protect animal health

David Bangart
Livestock/Animal Health Inspector

WSDA Animal Services staff working at the Spokane Rodeo. 
During the busy Washington rodeo season over the last few months, staff from the WSDA Animal Services Division attended several of these events. Officials set up inspection points to assure that both participants and stock contractors were complying with animal health and movement laws.  

Agency investigators and inspectors attended check-in at four of the larger livestock events held in Omak, Ellensburg, Spokane, and Lewiston, Idaho. 

This was the third year WSDA officials were invited to attend the Idaho event and work alongside Idaho authorities to make sure animals in transit between the two states complied with animal health and livestock identification rules and regulations. Unfortunately this year’s event in Idaho was hindered by poor weather conditions, canceling many of the planned activities. 

Later that week in September, roles reversed and Idaho authorities were invited to participate in a compliance effort at the Spokane Rodeo. The Spokane rodeo attracted many contestants from across the western states and was an extremely valuable experience for all involved personnel. 
Brand inspection supervisor, Kris Budde (center) and investigator
Bryant Blake (right) talk to a participant at the Spokane Rodeo. 

Throughout the four events, WSDA officials contacted 121 participants, resulting in opportunities to educate about 39 identified violations -- mostly associated with invalid health or proper ownership paperwork. Those found in violation were issued warnings and required to come into compliance before leaving the event. 

Compliance efforts were sensitive to event operations and timelines and were conducted on the grounds with the permission and support of the organizers. This was yet another example of interstate cooperation to protect the health and wellbeing of our state’s livestock industry.