The only thing that is certain about Utah House Bill 211 is that if it becomes law, escaping bison will have to jump higher. bison-thought-bubble But then there’s the question raised by the Salt Lake Tribune asserting that  the role of the state veterinarian is being diminished, removing meat and poultry inspection from that office’s preview. The Tribune says that when Warren Hess stepped down this past fall as state veterinarian, he complained about the appointed commissioner of the Utah Department of Agriculture and Food, LuAnn Adams, pushing him out of areas assigned to his office by statute. There was also something about Adams appointing unqualified mangers, too. In passing HB 211, the Utah House has apparently backed Adams, taking way duties previously assigned to the state vet, which is usually a powerful office in rural states. But in a bill that also increases requirements for fencing bison, Utah has thrown the state veterinarian overboard, at least in some areas. The state meat inspector no longer has to be a veterinarian in Utah. Hess has pointed out that veterinarians play a dominate role in USDA’s meat inspection. Rep, Lee Perry, R-Perry, said his bill was nothing but a few housekeeping changes. For the bison, that means jumping an 8-foot fence made of high-tensile steel wire of at least 14 and 1/2 gauge. About a dozen bison ranches will fall under the new requirements. (To sign up for a free subscription to Food Safety News, click here.)