Montana Department of Livestock Reports Brucellosis Found


Helena, Mont. –  On Monday, December 30th the Montana Department of Livestock reported that a single cow on a Madison County ranch within Montana’s brucellosis Designated Surveillance Area (DSA) has been confirmed positive for brucellosis.

The brucellosis-infected cow was identified during a voluntary whole-herd test. The animal was euthanized, and infection was subsequently confirmed at the National Veterinary Services Laboratories in Ames, Iowa when the bacteria was cultured from tissue collected from the animal. The ranch has been placed under quarantine and an epidemiological investigation has begun. All other animals on the ranch tested negative for the disease.

State Veterinarian Dr. Marty Zaluski, Montana Department of Livestock, said the discovery of the single animal provides evidence that annual whole herd testing is an effective method for DSA producers to protect themselves. Among other benefits, early detection helps to prevent disease spread within a herd, minimizing the time needed to clean up a herd and remove quarantine. The positive animal was tested negative the prior year.

“It can be concerning when a brucellosis affected herd is discovered, but our DSA producers and veterinarians should be commended for their efforts and compliance with regulations,” Zaluski said. “A high rate of testing, much of it voluntary, is the primary reason we continue to find affected herds rapidly, which not only minimizes the impact on that producer but protects our state and our trading partners,” Zaluski added.

Past cases of brucellosis in livestock were the result of transmission from infected wild elk as determined by an epidemiological investigation that included genetic fingerprinting (genotyping) of the cultured bacteria.

This is the 10th brucellosis affected herd found since the creation of the DSA in 2010. Prior to the creation of the DSA, if two or more affected herds were detected in a two-year period, the State would have lost brucellosis Class Free Status. Due to the current USDA regulations and Montana’s DSA, our state is not at risk of dropping in Class Status.



Montana Department of Livestock


sharon December 30, 2019 - 11:22 pm

So why use a photo of Buffalo when it was found in a heard of cattle and it’s spread by Elk?

Kiley Martinell January 3, 2020 - 1:39 pm

How do you know it was cattle? All the article says is a "cow". Buffalo females are called cows too.

RCC January 3, 2020 - 6:07 pm

Are you kidding! What do you think those are in the background!??

Lee December 31, 2019 - 10:40 am

Why is there a picture of buffalo accompanying an article that does not mention buffalo?

Kiley Martinell January 3, 2020 - 1:41 pm

It could be a buffalo herd or a cattle herd that had the positive. Both female species are called "cows". They do not mention that is was specifically a cattle ranch or specifically a buffalo ranch.

Adam January 2, 2020 - 1:21 pm

Because it’s spread by Buffalo and elk to each other and to cattle. I imagine them using the picture was to send a message to that effect.

Walter Morris January 3, 2020 - 10:59 pm

as in all news reports, we are told some news but we know nothing about what happened or where it happened and who was involved and what is the next best defensive moved to be made by us that are dependent upon livestock for our livelihood. When is the department of livestock and FWP going to care or listen to us that are stuck paying the losses and also totally dependent upon our livestock for our living. I don’t think that we should be in control of everything, but relying strictly on the thoughts and ideas of the officers of the very small number of so called farm organizations, where most of the officers are paid employees and don’t even have a dog in the fight. Please inform us cattlemen that have cow calf operations in the area of this positive cow so we can take defensive management decisions accordingly. Thank you.


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