Brucellosis Confirmed in Montana

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Brucellosis has been confirmed in a Park County cattle herd, according to Montana state veterinarian Dr. Marty Zaluski.

Six animals in the 150-head herd reacted positive to initial screening tests in mid-September. Cultures performed at the National Veterinary Services Laboratory in Ames, Iowa, on a milk sample collected at the time have confirmed the presence of brucellosis.

“We hate to see it happen, but it shows that the state’s Designated Surveillance Area (DSA) is working as intended,” Zaluski said. “These animals were tested per DSA requirements, and the disease was found before the animals were moved. Other states can remain confident we’ll find the disease, should it occur, before it leaves the state.”

The DSA is a disease management area for parts of Beaverhead, Gallatin, Madison and Park counties near the last known reservoir of brucellosis in wildlife in and around Yellowstone National Park. Cattle within the DSA are subject to certain testing and vaccination requirements.

It’s the state’s third case of brucellosis in cattle since 2007, but the ramifications of finding the disease are not as ominous as they once were.

In 2008, the state lost its brucellosis-free status after the disease was found twice in a two-year period. Due to the Montana Board of Livestock’s creation of the DSA and changes in federal regulations, the state is no longer at risk of losing its brucellosis-free status.

The affected animals were slaughtered on Thursday, and additional testing will be performed.

Because of changes in federal regulations, the affected herd will not have to be depopulated.

Source: Montana Department of Livestock 

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