Brucellosis found in Beaverhead Co., Mont. herd

Two bulls on a Beaverhead County ranch within Montana’s brucellosis Designated Surveillance Area (DSA) have cultured positive for brucellosis. The brucellosis-infected bulls were identified during a voluntary whole herd test.

The animals were euthanized and infection was subsequently confirmed through tissue cultures at the National Veterinary Services Laboratories in Ames, Iowa.

The ranch has been placed under quarantine and an epidemiological investigation is underway. All other animals on the ranch tested negative for the disease.

State Veterinarian Dr. Marty Zaluski, Montana Department of Livestock, said the discovery of the two animals provides evidence that the DSA program is working due to significant efforts of veterinarians and the producers who utilize the area.

“It can be frustrating when a brucellosis affected herd is discovered but our robust brucellosis program continues to find them early which protects our state as well as our trading partners,” Dr. Zaluski said. In all three Greater Yellowstone Area states, elk were determined to be the likely source of the infections in recent brucellosis incidents in livestock.

Results from genetic fingerprinting (genotyping) of the cultured bacteria should be available in a few weeks. This is the eighth brucellosis affected herd found since the creation of the DSA in 2010. The mission of the Montana Department of Livestock is to control and eradicate animal diseases, prevent the transmission of animal diseases to humans, and to protect the livestock industry from theft and predatory animals.

–Montana Department of Livestock