April 3, 2012 04:37
Or, this week in probably unnecessary legislation in Baton Rouge

Late Danish veterinarian Dr. Bernhard Bang is rightfully rolling in his grave. The good doctor, who died in 1932, is set to be divorced from his one claim to fame (in Louisiana anyway): isolating the bacterial agent that causes the livestock disease bearing his name.

State Rep. Simone Champagne, R-Jeanerette, has a bill before the House that would change the name of Bang's Disease to the more commonly used Brucellosis Disease. Brucellosis takes its name from British physician Dr. David Bruce, 1855-1931, who established the causal relationship between the disease and its hosts - mainly cattle and swine, although an associated disorder known as undulating fever can be contracted by humans - a decade before Bang's breakthrough discovery in 1897.

Louisiana has a Bang's Disease eradication program that requires infected livestock to be isolated and branded by the Louisiana Board of Animal Health. Champagne's House Bill 110 doesn't affect present law other than changing the name of the disease.

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