Tracking the Brucellosis Cases

Boulder, WY – 15 elk were tested for brucellosis last week as part of the investigation into the outbreak of the disease in a Sublette County cattle herd. The elk were at the Muddy Creek Feedground, which is close to where cattle from the infected herd graze. The testing found four brucellosis-infected elk. Game and Fish Deputy Director Gregg Arthur says they are trying to determine if that elk population is the source of the infection. Tissue samples will be taken from these elk and compared to samples from the infected cows to see if they all have the same strain of the disease. Arthur says that will take several weeks to determine. Investigators have already ruled out cattle as the starting place of this infection. So Arthur says he is under the belief that elk were probably responsible. Brucellosis is known to infect elk that use the 22 western Wyoming feedgrounds and the National Elk Refuge. The discovery of the disease in the cattle near Boulder and in cows that were sold from that herd make it likely that Wyoming will lose its federal brucellosis-free status.