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Environment & Science

Montana Proposes Expanding Brucellosis Surveillance Area Near Dillon

A map of the proposed surveillance area provided by the Montana Department of Livestock May 18, 2020.
Montana Department of Livestock
A map of the proposed surveillance area provided by the Montana Department of Livestock May 18, 2020.

 

Montanans may submit public comment on a proposal to expand the Designated Surveillance Area for brucellosis in the southwest part of the state. If approved, the DSA would expand to include the area between Dillon, Twin Bridges and Alder.

The Montana Department of Livestock’s proposal comes after Fish, Wildlife and Parks found two elk had been exposed to brucellosis earlier this year in the Ruby Mountains, an area currently outside the DSA.

The bacterial disease can spread between elk, bison and cattle if they come into contact with afterbirth fluids and tissues. It can cause pregnant animals to abort their fetuses, which is a financial loss to ranchers.

Cattle and domestic bison in the DSA have additional requirements, including vaccinations and testing for brucellosis before livestock change hands or are moved out of the area.

A May 18 press release from the Montana Deparment of Livestock says disease surveillance requirements maintain the marketability of Montana cattle.

State Veterinarian Marty Zaluski says the proposed change, if approved, would be the fifth boundary adjustment in the ten years that the DSA has existed.

Additional information and the proposed rule can be found on the DOL website. Comments can be submitted via email to MDOLcomments@mt.gov. Comments must be submitted by 5 p.m. on June 18.