Montana Herd Tests Positive for Brucellosis

Laramie, WY – Officials in Montana say seven cows traced to a Bridger ranch have tested positive for the livestock disease brucellosis, including one that was shipped to Iowa. If a second herd is found to have the disease, Montana could lose its coveted brucellosis-free status from the federal government. That would force a prolonged and costly testing and vaccination program. Brucellosis causes pregnant cattle to abort their calves. A brucellosis outbreak in northwest Wyoming in 2003 cost that state's livestock industry millions of dollars. It also prompted neighboring Colorado to temporarily close its borders to Wyoming cattle. Officials say the perception of Montana's livestock industry could suffer, even if the outbreak there is limited to a single herd.