Whole-Herd Brucellosis Testing Continues on Bison


With talk circulating about domestic bison testing positive for brucellosis in Montana, Northern Ag Network spoke to Montana State Veterinarian Dr. Marty Zaluski on Tuesday.


Without validating or dismissing the rumors, Dr. Zaluski verified that there are currently two domestic bison herds that are brucellosis-affected and therefore going through whole-herd testing.  Both herds are under the same ownership.  The specific results from those tests are not made public to protect the ranch’s privacy.  Any brucellosis-positive animals are terminated.




Here is the Montana brucellosis timeline:


1934 – The U.S. Department of Agriculture initiates a national brucellosis eradication program.

1952 – Montana begins an aggressive program to eliminate brucellosis from its livestock.

1985 – After more than three decades of effort and an expenditure of more than $30 million by the state’s livestock producers, the state obtains brucellosis-free status.

2000 – The Interagency Bison Management Plan (IBMP) is implemented.

2007 (May) – Brucellosis is found in a Carbon County cattle herd.

2008 (May) – Brucellosis is found in a Park County cattle herd.

2008 (September) – The state loses its brucellosis-free status.

2008 (November) – The Brucellosis Action Plan is approved.

2009 (July) – The USDA reinstates Montana’s brucellosis class-free status.

2010 (January) – The Brucellosis Action Plan sunsets; the Designated Surveillance Area is implemented.

2010 (November) – A brucellosis-infected domestic bison is found in Gallatin County.  This was confirmed to be an animal from Ted Turner’s Flying D Ranch by the Department of Livestock.

2011 (September) – Brucellosis is found in a Park County cattle herd.  Dr. Zaluski reports that this herd is no longer under quarantine and is considered brucellosis-negative.

2011 (November) – A brucellosis-infected bull is found on a Madison County ranch.  This was later confirmed to be a bison bull from Ted Turner’s Snowcrest Ranch.



© Northern Ag Network 2012

Haylie Shipp




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