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Brucellosis Investigation Expands in Montana

11 June 2008

US - The investigation in Montana is expanding as officials try to find out how brucellosis managed to enter the Paradise Valley ranch and whether neighbouring herds have caught the infection also.

Brucellosis, which causes pregnant cows to abort their calves, has been largely eradicated from livestock in the United States before Monday's report of an infection near the town of Pray, reports the San Diego Union Tribune.

They say the infected cow came from the ranch of Art Burns, who said Tuesday that he was aware of the potential dangers of running cattle near the nation's last reservoir of brucellosis. Pray is about 30 miles north of Yellowstone National Park and adjacent to the Gallatin National Forest.

“We feel terribly about this, but it's part of what comes with living here and being engaged in the business,” Burns told the San Diego Union Tribune. “You very much want to dodge the bullet. But you have to assume the risk.”

His experience underscores the difficulty researchers and livestock officials face in coming up with a solution to brucellosis. Experts say existing vaccines are only about 60 percent to 70 percent effective.

Although the diseased cow has been destroyed, the discovery will cost the state its federal brucellosis-free status. That will force livestock producers across Montana to undergo costly disease testing and possibly a vaccination program.

  • View the San Diego Union Tribune story by clicking here.

    Further Reading

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