Shultz, Thomas

Department of Livestock Proposes Designated Surveillance Area Boundary Adjustment in Madison County

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
May 18, 2020

CONTACT:
Dr. Eric Liska, Brucellosis Program Veterinarian, (406) 444-3374, eliska@mt.gov
Dr. Tahnee Szymanski, Assistant State Veterinarian, (406) 444-2976, tszymanski@mt.gov

Department of Livestock Proposes Designated Surveillance Area Boundary Adjustment in Madison County

Helena, Mont. - The Montana Department of Livestock (DOL) is proposing a change to the boundary of the Designated Surveillance Area (DSA) for brucellosis. The proposed administrative rule change is in response to the discovery of two brucellosis exposed elk in the Ruby Mountains, outside of the current DSA boundary. The boundary adjustment will ensure that cattle and domestic bison at risk of exposure to infected wildlife are included in disease surveillance efforts. A public comment period is open until 5:00 p.m. on June 18, 2020.

Wild elk and Yellowstone National Park bison are the last known reservoirs of brucellosis in the U.S. Periodic. Transmission from infected wildlife to livestock occurs with infected wild elk determined to have been the source over the last 10 years. The potential for transmission to livestock is why Montana has an established DSA with surveillance and traceability requirements for cattle and domestic bison.

Cattle and domestic bison that utilize ground within the DSA have brucellosis testing, identification, and vaccination requirements. These requirements include brucellosis testing prior to change of ownership or movement out of the DSA. Disease surveillance requirements maintain the marketability of Montana cattle by assuring the brucellosis-free status of Montana livestock.

“This is the fifth boundary adjustment in the 10 years that the DSA has existed,” says Marty Zaluski, State Veterinarian. “Each year, Livestock partners with Fish Wildlife and Parks to conduct live elk captures for brucellosis surveillance. Information from these captures help us determine where and if an expansion to the DSA is necessary in response to the presence of brucellosis positive wildlife on the landscape.”

Additional information and the proposed rule can be found on the DOL website at
www.liv.mt.gov. Comments can be submitted via email to MDOLcomments@mt.gov. Please
submit comments no later than close of business on June 18th.

The mission of the Montana Department of Livestock is to control and eradicate animal diseases,
prevent the transmission of animal diseases to humans, and to protect the livestock industry from
theft and predatory animals. For more information on the Montana Department of Livestock,
visit http://liv.mt.gov/.

 

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