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POWELL (WNE) — A Powell outbreak of vesicular stomatitis — a highly contagious disease that can afflict horses, livestock, wildlife and even humans — has led to the postponement of the Trapper Stampede Rodeo at Cody Stampede Park.

The Sept. 6-7 rodeo was set to kick off the 2019 Northwest College rodeo season and is a popular event in the Big Sky Region.

However, over the past week, there have been two confirmed cases of vesicular stomatitis (VS) in the Powell area. Test results are pending on a third reported case, Dr. Jim Logan, the Wyoming state veterinarian, said Wednesday.

Dr. Ray Acker with Bighorn Animal Care Center said in a Facebook post that there are several suspected cases in the area.

In consultation with local veterinarians, Northwest College rodeo coach Del Nose decided it was in the best interest of the Big Sky Region to reschedule the rodeo for Oct. 4-5.

“The virus is so contagious, and I couldn’t bring in 238 head of horses from Montana down here, knowing that they might get sick,” Nose said. “Once a horse is quarantined, it lasts for 14 days if they’ve been exposed.”

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