MT Brucellosis Plan Focuses on Yellowstone

Billings, MT – Cattle ranchers near Yellowstone National Park would have to test their entire herds for brucellosis and vaccinate them against the disease, under a plan offered by Montana livestock officials.

The plan, still in draft form, is required for Montana to regain its federal brucellosis-free status. The state lost that status in September following infections on two ranches within the past two years.

Brucellosis causes cows to abort their calves. Eradicated elsewhere, it remains a problem in the Yellowstone area because of the disease's prevalence in wildlife.

The Montana Department of Livestock plan calls for less stringent testing and vaccination requirements outside the Yellowstone area. It also encourages ranchers to keep their livestock separate from elk.

Public comment is being taken through Oct. 10.