Q2 Morning Email Newsletter

Nov 16, 2011 5:18 PM by Q2 News

Brucellosis found in Madison County cattle herd

Helena - The Montana Department of Livestock is reporting today a bull on a Madison County ranch has cultured positive for brucellosis.

The brucellosis-infected bull was identified during a whole herd test, and was subsequently confirmed by cultures performed at the National Veterinary Services Laboratories (NVSL) in Ames, Iowa.

The ranch is located within the state's Designated Surveillance Area (DSA), a disease management area in Beaverhead, Gallatin, Madison and Park counties, with management practices that include Official Calfhood Vaccination as required by DSA rules and a herd plan.

The bull has been removed from the herd, and the ranch placed under quarantine. All other animals on the ranch tested negative for the disease.

State Veterinarian Dr. Marty Zaluski, Montana Department of Livestock, said discovery of the infected bull is not likely to impact the state's brucellosis status.

"USDA has de-emphasized state status and now manages brucellosis on a case-by-case basis," Zaluski said.

An epidemiological investigation should help identify the source of the disease, Zaluski said. In all four of the state's recent brucellosis incidents, elk, not cattle or bison, were determined to be the likely source of the infections. Results from genetic fingerprinting should be available in a couple of weeks.

After going more than 30 years without a case of brucellosis, the state lost its brucellosis-free status when the disease was found twice within a 24-month period in 2007 and 2008. The department responded with the Brucellosis Action Plan and later, the Designated Surveillance Area, resulting in the fastest ever reinstatement of a state's brucellosis class-free status.

Montana Brucellosis Timeline
• 1934 - The U.S. Department of Agriculture initiates a national brucellosis eradication program.
• 1952 - Montana begins an aggressive program to eliminate brucellosis from its livestock.
• 1985 - After more than three decades of effort and an expenditure of more than $30 million by the state's livestock producers, the state obtains brucellosis-free status.
• 2000 - The Interagency Bison Management Plan (IBMP) is implemented.
• 2007 (May) - Brucellosis is found in a Carbon County cattle herd.
• 2008 (May) - Brucellosis is found in a Park County cattle herd.
• 2008 (September) - The state loses its brucellosis-free status.
• 2008 (November) - The Brucellosis Action Plan is approved.
• 2009 (July) - The USDA reinstates Montana's brucellosis class-free status.
• 2010 (January) - The Brucellosis Action Plan sunsets; the Designated Surveillance Area is implemented.
• 2010 (November) - A brucellosis-infected domestic bison is found in Gallatin County.
• 2011 (September) - Brucellosis is found in a Park County cattle herd.
• 2011 (November) - A brucellosis-infected bull is found on a Madison County ranch.

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