Montana: Designated Surveillance Area proposal opens for public comment June 23 | TSLN.com

Montana: Designated Surveillance Area proposal opens for public comment June 23

The Montana Board of Livestock on June 23 will open for public review and comment proposals to adjust boundaries and implement new animal identification standards for cattle within the state’s Designated Surveillance Area (DSA).

The DSA is a disease management area for parts of Beaverhead, Gallatin, Madison and Park counties nearest to the nation’s last known remaining reservoir of bovine brucellosis in the Greater Yellowstone Area. Implemented through Official Order 10-D-1 in January 2009, the DSA is designed and intended to reduce the risk of brucellosis transmission from infected wildlife to domestic livestock, and to protect the state’s ability to market cattle to other states.

Dr. Eric Liska, Montana Department of Livestock (MDOL) staff brucellosis veterinarian, said the two measures, which would amend Administrative Rules of Montana numbers 32.3.433 and 32.3.434, are needed to help protect the marketability of the state’s billion-dollar-plus livestock industry.

“Other states, specifically destination states for Montana cattle such as Nebraska, South Dakota and Colorado, have been implementing stricter import requirements for Montana cattle due to the potential of livestock exposure to brucellosis-infected wildlife in a small portion of the state,” he said. “They understandably want to make sure they do not import disease into their respective states, and they want to be assured that we’re doing everything we can to mitigate that risk.”

The first measure – adjusting the DSA’s boundary in a small portion of Beaverhead and Madison counties – was necessitated by a recent Department of Fish, Wildlife & Parks study that found brucellosis-exposed elk in the Ruby Range, where such elk were previously not known to exist. Twelve of 100 elk in the trap-and-test study tested positive for the exposure to the disease.

“Having to adjust the DSA boundaries is frustrating, but it’s in the best interests of everyone involved,” Liska said.

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The second proposal, regarding animal identification, would change the existing rule from “All sexually intact cattle 12 months of age and older within the DSA must be identified with official individual identification” to “All sexually intact cattle and domestic bison leaving the DSA must be identified with official individual identification.”

The animal identification requirement is intended to protect the state’s ability to market cattle to destination states and improve traceability of animals for disease purposes. Several states have implement stricter identification requirements for importation of cattle from within the DSA.

Electronic copies of the proposal notice and proposal are available on MDOL’s Web site at liv.mt.gov or the Secretary of State’s Web site at http://sos.mt.gov/ARM/Register.

The comment period runs from June 23 through 5 p.m. on July 25. Persons wishing to comment may do so in writing to Christian Mackay, 301 N. Roberts St., Room 308, PO Box 202001, Helena, MT 59620-2001, by faxing to 406-444-1929, or by e-mailing cmackay@mt.gov.

The Montana Board of Livestock on June 23 will open for public review and comment proposals to adjust boundaries and implement new animal identification standards for cattle within the state’s Designated Surveillance Area (DSA).

The DSA is a disease management area for parts of Beaverhead, Gallatin, Madison and Park counties nearest to the nation’s last known remaining reservoir of bovine brucellosis in the Greater Yellowstone Area. Implemented through Official Order 10-D-1 in January 2009, the DSA is designed and intended to reduce the risk of brucellosis transmission from infected wildlife to domestic livestock, and to protect the state’s ability to market cattle to other states.

Dr. Eric Liska, Montana Department of Livestock (MDOL) staff brucellosis veterinarian, said the two measures, which would amend Administrative Rules of Montana numbers 32.3.433 and 32.3.434, are needed to help protect the marketability of the state’s billion-dollar-plus livestock industry.

“Other states, specifically destination states for Montana cattle such as Nebraska, South Dakota and Colorado, have been implementing stricter import requirements for Montana cattle due to the potential of livestock exposure to brucellosis-infected wildlife in a small portion of the state,” he said. “They understandably want to make sure they do not import disease into their respective states, and they want to be assured that we’re doing everything we can to mitigate that risk.”

The first measure – adjusting the DSA’s boundary in a small portion of Beaverhead and Madison counties – was necessitated by a recent Department of Fish, Wildlife & Parks study that found brucellosis-exposed elk in the Ruby Range, where such elk were previously not known to exist. Twelve of 100 elk in the trap-and-test study tested positive for the exposure to the disease.

“Having to adjust the DSA boundaries is frustrating, but it’s in the best interests of everyone involved,” Liska said.

The second proposal, regarding animal identification, would change the existing rule from “All sexually intact cattle 12 months of age and older within the DSA must be identified with official individual identification” to “All sexually intact cattle and domestic bison leaving the DSA must be identified with official individual identification.”

The animal identification requirement is intended to protect the state’s ability to market cattle to destination states and improve traceability of animals for disease purposes. Several states have implement stricter identification requirements for importation of cattle from within the DSA.

Electronic copies of the proposal notice and proposal are available on MDOL’s Web site at liv.mt.gov or the Secretary of State’s Web site at http://sos.mt.gov/ARM/Register.

The comment period runs from June 23 through 5 p.m. on July 25. Persons wishing to comment may do so in writing to Christian Mackay, 301 N. Roberts St., Room 308, PO Box 202001, Helena, MT 59620-2001, by faxing to 406-444-1929, or by e-mailing cmackay@mt.gov.

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