Veterinarian explains Montana's ongoing brucellosis investigation

US - My colleagues and I in the Montana Department of Livestock, along with other officials in both state and federal agencies, are now engaged in one of the most intensive disease investigations in recent Montana history.
calendar icon 11 June 2007
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The tremendous help and cooperation we've been receiving from ranch families around the state, and from others involved in Montana's livestock industries, has been critically important and is most appreciated.

Brucellosis was detected in Montana cattle on May 18, threatening our state's brucellosis-free status. While brucellosis poses only a minute risk to human health, the economic costs could severely curtail Montana's premiere beef cattle industry. In addition, under federal rules, once brucellosis is detected, an exhaustive investigation that confirms no other cases of diseased livestock must be completed within 60 days for the state to retain its disease-free status, which was hard won in 1985.

Brucellosis usually causes late-term abortions in cattle, bison and elk. Rarely will an infected cow carry a calf past five to seven months, but sometimes a live, but weak calf is born. The bacteria, brucella abortus, thrives in unpasteurized milk, afterbirth and other reproductive tract discharges, including aborted fetuses. The infection also spreads through reproductive discharges of fluids and materials.

Source: The Prairie Star

For more information on Brucellosis, click here.
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