Montana has second brucellosis case
by Cat Urbigkit, Pinedale Online!
June 11, 2008
A cow from Montana's Paradise Valley has tested positive for brucellosis, and will cost the state its brucellosis-free status.
Testing performed at the National Animal Disease Center in Ames, Iowa, confirmed the presence of the brucella abortus bacterium, the causative agent of brucellosis, in the suspect cow.
Montana will now lose its Brucellosis Class Free status and be downgraded to Class A within four to eight weeks, or as soon as the downgrade can be listed in the Federal Register.
State veterinarian Marty Zaluski said the loss of brucellosis-free status is particularly frustrating given efforts by livestock producers and the industry to mitigate risks and increase disease surveillance.
“Montana has been following the Interagency Bison Management Plan,” Zaluski said. “Producers in the Paradise Valley have been involved and diligent, and they have taken it upon themselves to be proactive in regard to managing the risk of brucellosis transmission. In this particular case, the owner did everything right. The cow had been vaccinated twice and was part of a herd management plan.”
With the loss of Class Free status, Montana’s livestock producers will now be required to test bulls and non-spayed females, 18 months of age or older, 30 days prior to interstate movement.
In May 2007, the disease was discovered in a Bridger cattle herd last summer, and two herds, totaling 301 cows and 284 calves, were depopulated as a result of that outbreak. Per USDAAnimal & Plant Health Inspection Service regulations, the state had to remain brucellosis-free until July 2009 to maintain its brucellosis-free status.
All other animals in the herd where the positive was found have tested negative for brucellosis. Herds with links to the herd where the infected cow was found will be placed under quarantine unless, or until, they are whole-herd tested.
Zaluski said federal indemnity funds are available for depopulation of infected herds.