Brucellosis Probe Continues

US - Bruce Malcolm, a rancher and Republican state representative from Emigrant, said Monday that seven of the cows that tested positive for the disease brucellosis came from his herd and that he supplied bulls to the herd under quarantine in Bridger.
calendar icon 22 May 2007
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More blood was drawn from his herd Monday, he said, and yearlings will be tested this morning. Then it’s all over but the waiting.

“We’ve worked with these cows all our life, it’s like losing a member of our family,” Malcolm said.

Tests are being conducted on at least two herds in the Paradise Valley and if two cows from a second herd test positive, Montana will lose its brucellosis-free status, which will be a serious economic hit to the state’s largest industry.

“We’re still looking at probably the end of the week before we have test results,” said Teresa Howes, spokeswoman for the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS).

Humans can get a form of brucellosis called undulate fever if they come in contact with infected live animals or birth material, so veterinarians and ranchers are most at risk.

Friday, Gov. Brian Schweitzer’s office announced that seven cows from a herd assembled in Baker from cows traced back from Bridger to Emigrant had tested positive for brucellosis, which causes cows to abort their calves.

Source: Helena Independent Record

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