State creates vet incentives

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) -- A state law passed this year encourages new veterinarians to include large animals in their practices.

Its author, Rep. Steve Kouplen of Beggs, says it makes new veterinarians eligible for the Oklahoma Agricultural Linked Deposit Program if they devote 30 percent of their practice to large animals.

Kouplen says the trend is for veterinarians to specialize in the care of small animals and pets rather than large farm animals. The shift has had an adverse affect on farmers and ranchers, who face greater obstacles in securing veterinary care.

The Oklahoma Agricultural Linked Deposit Program helps participating banks lower their interest rates on loans for farms and agriculture-related businesses that qualify for the program.

Nebraska wary of tuberculosis

LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) -- As deer hunting season gets under way, the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission is asking hunters for their help in monitoring the deer population for tuberculosis.

Bovine tuberculosis was found earlier this year at a northern Knox County facility with a herd of captive elk and deer. The disease also was reported in a beef herd in Rock County.

Subsequent testing hasn't found additional cases of the disease.

The disease typically spreads from one animal to another through the inhalation of bacteria. Experts say there is little risk of the disease being transmitted to humans.

Tuberculosis -infected deer may have tan or yellow lumps lining the chest cavity, in the lung tissue or in the lymph nodes of the cheek, head and neck.

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