Montana maintains brucellosis status
Malcolm Ranch Cattle
These cattle were still under quarantine awaiting the results of the brucellosis testing in Montana late last week.
by Cat Urbigkit, Pinedale Online!
May 30, 2007
Two weeks ago, a beef cow shipped from Baker, Montana tested positive for brucellosis, according to a press release from Montana Governor Brian Schweitzer and the Montana Department of Livestock.
Last week, cattle from a second herd near Emigrant, Montana were under quarantine and being bled for brucellosis testing.
The Montana Department of Livestock announced Friday test from the Emigrant cattle herd has detected no brucellosis, but the state’s intensive disease investigation continues.
The Montana Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory in Bozeman has confirmed that the entire Emigrant herd is brucellosis-free, the department announced.
As a result, the department’s intensive investigation will now focus first and foremost on identifying and testing all the cattle that have come in contact during the past two years with the herd in Bridger, where some positive test results had been confirmed last Friday.
“Federal disease-control procedures require that all contact herds and purchased or sold animals be identified and tested within 60 days of the first positive test finding,” said Acting State Veterinarian Dr. Jeanne Rankin. “We’re at 55 days and counting, and we will not rest until we’ve finished.”
Rankin added that if a positive test result is found at a second herd, or if the department fails to complete the investigation within the required 60-day window, Montana is likely to lose its brucellosis-free status.
Eventually, this required investigation process will include animals that have come in contact with the Emigrant herd, she explained, but the highest current priority revolves around the Bridger herd, since that’s the one that has produced the only positive test results.
Dr. Rankin cautioned: “Today’s confirmed test results from our Bozeman lab, while certainly extremely welcome good news, does not mean that Montana is out of the woods on this crisis. We have a great deal of emergency work ahead of us, and we greatly appreciate all the help and support we’re receiving from federal agencies and other state agencies, both in Montana and surrounding states, as well as from involved and concerned ranchers in Montana.”
Photo by Cat Urbigkit