For Immediate Release
April 4, 2012
Public Information Officer
Montana Department of Livestock
MDOL Proposes DSA Boundary Adjustment Following Elk Study
The Montana Department of Livestock (MDOL) is proposing to adjust the boundary for its Designated Surveillance Area (DSA) after brucellosis-exposed elk were found in the Blacktail-Sage Creek area south of Dillon.
According to the Montana Department of Fish, Wildlife & Parks (FWP), five of 46 elk trapped in the area this past winter tested positive for exposure to brucellosis. The proposed adjustment would include the region where the exposed elk were found by shifting the DSA’s western-most boundary from Blacktail Road to Interstate 15 (see attached map).
It’s the second time MDOL has had to adjust its DSA boundaries. The first adjustment occurred in August 2011 after brucellosis-exposed elk were found in the Ruby Range.
The proposed adjustment would increase the size of the DSA from 4.04 percent of the state’s land mass to 4.58 percent, with the number of cattle within increasing from an estimated 46,000 head to an estimated 73,200 head.
Created in 2010 following expiration of the Brucellosis Action Plan, the DSA is designed to protect the marketability of Montana cattle. It increases disease surveillance where brucellosis-exposed wildlife is known to exist, and outlines livestock testing and identification requirements within the area.
Zaluski said the DSA shows other states that Montana takes brucellosis seriously.
“Other states want to know we’re doing everything we can to protect our herd, and theirs, from brucellosis,” he said. “In that regard, the DSA is vitally important to helping protect the marketability of our cattle.”
There is “no question,” he added, that the DSA is working as designed.
A copy of the proposed rule can be found on the department’s web site at http://liv.mt.gov/brucellosis.
Comments on the proposal will be taken through 5 p.m. on May 15. Comments may be submitted via U.S. postal mail to Christian Mackay, P.O. Box 202001, Helena, MT 59620-2001; via fax to 406/444-1929; or by email at DSAfirstname.lastname@example.org.
A public meeting to discuss the proposed boundary adjustments has been scheduled for April 17 at 1 p.m. at the 4-H building at the Beaverhead County Fairgrounds in Dillon.
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