Monday, July 13, 2009

Elk to Blame for Past Decade of Brucellosis Infection

I was reading an article in the HelenaIR (Irresponsible Record), the most HIGHLY censored newspaper in MT. Once again the ranchers blame wildlife, namely elk, for all infections of brucellosis over the past decade. MT seems to conveniently & arrogantly forget that this disease originated in European cattle that were imported into the U.S. and then the disease was transmitted to the wildlife in Yellowstone. Today there are an estimated 2.6 MILLION cattle in MT. This is 2.5 times the state population!! Whereas there are close to 3,000 buffalo, 95,000 elk and 34 breeding pairs of wolves. These numbers are waaay too high for the ranchers who'd like to see them down to 0.

In 2007 there were 2 herds that became infected. This was NOT caused by wildlife as the HelenaIR wants you to believe. Both these herds were made up of Corriente cattle. This is a Mexican breed that is popular for rodeo roping events and are often imported from Texas.
According to Robert Hoskins, an independent Wyoming conservationist. "There is no scientific proof that elk were the cause of last year's brucellosis outbreak and good circumstantial evidence that the cause was imported Corriente cattle. A year after that incident, we still have no published epidemiological report from APHIS. Is that not suspicious?" (quote from a BFC press release, 2008)

Now that MT is brucellosis free again it can export its cattle. Blood testing will continue in the 7 Yellowstone area counties for 6 months.

The billion $ industry continues. All the while wildlife suffer.

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