Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Brucellosis Battle Continues

Montana Department of Livestock
301 N. Roberts/PO Box 202001
Helena MT 59620-2001
On the web at

Tuesday, November 24, 2009/FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Steve Merritt
Public Information Officer
Montana Department of Livestock

BOL Seeks Public Comment on Proposed Brucellosis Order

The Montana Board of Livestock is seeking public comment on a draft order that proposes to create Designated Surveillance Area (DSA) for continued brucellosis surveillance, vaccination and traceability requirements in areas with risk of brucellosis transmission from wildlife to livestock.

The proposed order specifies:
  • Boundaries for the DSA;
  • Testing requirements for eligible animals;
  • Individual animal identification;
  • Requirements for mandatory Official Calfhood Vaccination (OCV).
State veterinarian Dr. Marty Zaluski, who presented the draft order to the Board of Livestock at its meeting in Helena last week, said the order "picks up where the Brucellosis Action Plan left off."

"The draft order basically outlines a plan for surveillance and monitoring in increased-risk areas after the state's Brucellosis Action Plan (BAP) sunsets on January 10," Zaluski said. "We've known all along that some components of the BAP would be needed in some areas after it sunsets, and this order is consistent with what we've discussed with producers."

If approved, the order would create a surveillance area that is significantly smaller than the seven-county area - Area 1 - created by the state's Brucellosis Action Plan.

"I think we've shown that monitoring is an effective tool for detecting disease, and that it ultimately helps protect the marketability of Montana's livestock," Zaluski said.

The order also extends requirements for producers in Area 1 of the BAP who have not yet completed an operation-specific risk survey or whole-herd brucellosis testing. Producers with livestock in Area 1 are encouraged to contact Dr. Eric Liska (; 406/444-2043), the department's brucellosis veternarian, to complete a risk survey as soon as possible.

Comments on the proposed order, which can be viewed and/or downloaded at, will be accepted through December 16, and can be submitted to the Department of Livestock via email at or U.S. Postal mail at DSA Comments, Montana Department of Livestock, Helena MT, 59620-2001.

Zaluski added that the comment period for the DSA is related to, but separate from, a USDA-APHIS comment period on a concept paper proposing changes in the nation's federal brucellosis program (see the October 7 press release, APHIS Plan Open for Public Comment, for additional details).

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