Early Thursday, to avoid the crowds, I arrive at Western Stockman’s for another trace-back. A cow slaughtered at BPI had TB. The information from the slaughterhouse only named the sales-yard. Now I need to learn where the cow came from.
The brand inspectors are in their break room. Darn! Can’t get by without saying hello.
“Hey, Doc, what’s up?” Jerry calls out.
“The usual. Find any hot brands?” I respond.
“No, but we do have a dispute over an unbranded calf in Isabella. Could you take some blood samples for us?”
“Do you have the parents?”
“Just the mother. At least, he claims it’s the mother.”
“No, it’s AI’d. That’s the only cow he has.”
“Well, that only gives you a 50-50 chance of establishing paternity. And someone will have to pay the $100 for the test.”
“Got it covered. When can you do it?”
“How about Tuesday? I’m going to Camp Owens then.”
“Too soon to contact them. How about a week from Tuesday?”
“OK, a week from Tuesday. Say, what do you know about Garcia? Someone reported three hundred cows died there, but he denies anything happened.”
“Yeah, he fed them raw onions and the onions killed them.”
“But why would he deny it?”
“You ask him too many questions, and you’ll get a pair of concrete boots.”
“Then I could really kick ass!”
“Not at the bottom of the river.”
“So why aren’t you doing something about it?”
“Like I said. That guy’s trouble. We don’t mess with him.”
“Well, I still have to see Yolanda. Take care.”
The office is empty. “Hello! Is anyone here?”
“Be out in a minute,” Yolanda calls from her inner office. Emerging, she says, “Dr. Hargreaves! What can I do for you?”
“I have a suspect from BPI, dated January 11.”
Yolanda goes through her files and pulls up the record. “Here we are. We sold thirty-two head to BPI. Got the back-tag number?”
“Here it is. Hereford cross.”
“Right. It came from John App II in Glenville. Here’s his address.”
“Here you are: 805-327-4826.”
Now for one of their to-die-for hamburgers and on to the dairies.
Copyright Robert C Hargreaves