New Wyoming Herdshare Regulation

An attempt by the Wyoming Department of Agriculture (WDA) to ban herdshares wound up resulting in Governor Matt Mead ordering the department to issue a rule expressly legalizing herdshares. The rule WDA had proposed stated that the prohibition on the sale of raw milk “does not apply to individuals who obtain milk from animals solely owned by them, members of their family, or their employees and who furnish raw milk or products made from raw milk only to members of their family or non-paying guests.”

After raw milk producers and their herdshare owners became aware of the proposed rule and the use of the word “solely” in it, the department was forced to hold four public hearings around the state. According to rancher Frank Wallis who ― along with his sister, State Representative Sue Wallis ― led the opposition to the rule, not a single person spoke in favor of the new rule at any of the hearings; speakers warned that unless the word “solely” was removed, lawsuits would be filed against the government to seek compensation under the Wyoming Constitution for the taking of the use of their property.

In September WDA issued a press release notifying the public that the word “solely” would be removed from the proposed rule. WDA has not yet announced when the final rule will go into effect.

 

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