Brucellosis confirmed in Park County
by Wyoming Livestock Board
November 28, 2010
Wyoming State Veterinarian, Jim Logan, announces that Wyoming has found a second case of Brucellosis in a herd in Park County. This case is not related to the earlier case disclosed in late October, but is within Wyoming’s Designated Surveillance Area (DSA), and appears to also be associated with exposure to free ranging elk.
A group of 12 heifers from the DSA was tested as required by Wyoming’s Brucellosis rules for a change of ownership. Two of the twelve showed an elevated titer for Brucellosis and were designated as suspects. One of these animals was euthanized on November 10th, and tissue samples were collected and delivered to the Wyoming State Veterinary Laboratory (WSVL) and the National Veterinary Services Laboratory (NVSL) for bacteriology. Subsequently the remaining 11 animals from the group and approximately 250 additional herd mates were tested and 18 of these animals were classified as Brucellosis reactors.
On November 24th, NVSL issued a final report stating that Brucella abortus Biovar 1 was isolated from the tissues submitted on November 10th.
USDA-APHIS has designated this herd as an "affected herd." The Wyoming Livestock Board (WLSB) has quarantined the affected herd and 1adjacent herd. Testing has been scheduled to continue on November 29th on the affected herd and adjacent herds. Epidemiologic interviews are underway to determine the extent of this outbreak.
Dr. Logan met late last week with USDA-APHIS West Region officials to discuss the implications of this case and the earlier case on Wyoming’s brucellosis Free Status. Dr. Logan was told by APHIS officials that under current APHIS policy and the imminent publication of the Brucellosis Interim Rule, Wyoming is not in jeopardy of losing it’s free status as long as the state is appropriately handling the cases that arise.
Over the past year and a half, USDA-APHIS has been coordinating with all state veterinarians to develop changes to the federal Brucellosis rules. The state veterinarians of Wyoming, Idaho, and Montana have had considerable input into these discussions.
Dr. Logan stated that the new or "Interim Rule" provides the state and affected herd owners some flexibility in how situations are handled. We expect to have occasional Brucellosis cases in our DSA since we have the last remaining reservoir of Brucella abortus in this country in the Greater Yellowstone Area. Livestock producers take many precautions to prevent exposure to wildlife, but there are some situations that even the best management cannot always avoid.
Editor’s Note: Park County, Wyoming, is located on the east side of the Continental Divide in north-central and extreme northwest Wyoming, including a portion of Yellowstone National Park. The largest communities are Cody, Powell and Meeteetse.