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Mexico in Denial: The Source of Montana Brucellosis

20 June 2008

US - Mexican officials have denied that the recent outbreak of Brucellosis across the border came in from their country, instead they say local Montana wildlife is to blame.

"Absolutely not," said Christian Mackay, executive officer of the Montana Board of Livestock told Billings Gazette, when asked about the incident. Mexican cattle "were not the source of the outbreak."

Brucellosis appeared last week for the second time in 18 months in Montana cattle, reported Billings Gazette. The news agency says that it will cause the state to lose its brucellosis-free status and could be a multimillion-dollar hit to the state's cattle economy.

But brucellosis persists in bison and elk in and around Yellowstone National Park, where wildlife decades ago contracted it from domestic stock. Montana, Wyoming and Idaho have had recent cases of the disease and are part of a complicated federal and state plan intended to keep bison from spreading the disease to domestic animals. That plan does not involve elk, which can also spread the disease.

The rumor about a Mexican source evidently stemmed from the fact all of the cattle that have come down with brucellosis in Montana were either a certain Mexican-associated breed of cattle called Corriente or had contact with Corriente.

  • View the Billings Gazette story by clicking here.

    Further Reading

    - Go to our previous news item on this story by clicking here.

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