State Agricultural Commissioner Gus Douglas has ordered 84 cows killed at a Hampshire County farm following an outbreak of rabies.

Douglas said he ordered the kill to protect other animals and the public.

"This is extremely sensitive and serious," Douglas said, "There is just no way we can let these animals go into commerce."

The farmer has not been identified, but the state will pay for the animals.

Rabies has become a widespread problem in the state.

West Virginia has air dropped two million baits containing vaccine since 2001.

The Ag Department says livestock needs to be vaccinated, with rabies carriers generally being raccoons, skunks, bats, and foxes.

The origin of rabies in Hampshire County was a skunk.

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