Three-state talks focus on brucellosis strategy. Veterinarians from Montana, Wyoming, Idaho meeting Friday in Helena. By The Associated Press

This is a chance for a big change, but where are the wildlife people?  My experience with the state vets is that they are beholden to the cattle industrye. Therefore, they have a very narrow perspective.

Update. June 28. Just what you would expect, no recognition that the continuing source of brucellosis is not inside Yellowstone Park, but south on Wyoming’s elk feedlots. State vets: Yellowstone must eradicate brucellosis. By Matt Gouras. AP.

When they are this utterly compromised, it makes you worry what would happen if some serious threat to livestock and wildlife emerged, oh wait, it has. They are doing zip about bluetongue.

About The Author

Ralph Maughan

Dr. Ralph Maughan is professor emeritus of political science at Idaho State University. He was a Western Watersheds Project Board Member off and on for many years, and was also its President for several years. For a long time he produced Ralph Maughan's Wolf Report. He was a founder of the Greater Yellowstone Coalition. He and Jackie Johnson Maughan wrote three editions of "Hiking Idaho." He also wrote "Beyond the Tetons" and "Backpacking Wyoming's Teton and Washakie Wilderness." He created and is the administrator of The Wildlife News.

8 Responses to Three-state talks focus on brucellosis strategy. State veterinarians to meet

  1. There is one hope for this; that they really work hard to change the APHIS rules governing the penalties they face for brucellosis.

    Although the penalties aren’t really that severe as a percentage of what the livestock industry makes, the penalties that exist are absolutely ridiculous. Brucellosis simply isn’t a big deal and doesn’t need to be managed like it used to be managed when a herd is infected.

    If the rules change, it takes one more reason from the industry for using brucellosis as the issue.

    Of course, in the end, that won’t matter – because … let’s say it again … this is about grass and not about brucellosis.

  2. timz says:

    “My experience with the state vets is that they are beholden to the cattle industrye. Therefore, they have a very narrow perspective.”

    I don’t know about the state guys but I worked for USDA Veteranary Services during the years when the eradication
    of brucellosis was in full swing. Some of the talk from the vets about wildlife would make you shudder. It made me wonder how someone who felt so hostile towards any animal could be a vet.

  3. Catbestland says:

    I agree with your observation of hostility towards animals. The whole ranching industry is not particularly geared toward kindness to any animals.

  4. Salle says:

    Like Ralph inquired; Where are the wildlife advocates? I don’t see where they are even considered in this dialogue which posses a less than inclusive process.

  5. Robert Hoskins says:

    We are trying to find out the exact location and time of the meeting so that someone from Montana can attend. We have also alerted the press to encourage a reporter to attend. It is vital that this meeting not take place in private. While we might see a discussion on changing the draconian brucellosis UMR for the better, we’ll most likely also see greater pressure placed on bison and elk, which neither species can stand right now. State vets are not beholden to APHIS, but to state Stockgrower organizations, and quite frankly could do considerable additional harm to wildlife if they so chose. Cowardly state wildlife agencies make Stockgrower control easy to increase.

    TimZ–you wonder about the hostitility of APHIS-VS vets toward wildlife. Is that any different from psychologists and psychiatrists assisting the US military with interrogation and torture?

  6. TC says:

    The state vet from WY is a former wildlife veterinarian and is very interested in the conservation of free-ranging wildlife. How that stacks up with his official job responsibilities in this arena is to be determined.

  7. Robert Hoskins says:


    Yes, Walt Cook used to work for the Wyoming G&F Dept. But now he works for the Wyoming Livestock Board, and the Livestock Board works for the Stockgroaners. Every Wyoming State Vet who has got into an argument with the Stockgrowers has found himself unemployed. So there’s nothing to determine. Walt won’t do anything for Wyoming’s elk.


  8. dbaileyhill says:

    The heavy hand of the livestock industry must stay in control at any cost to both wildlife and people. Looks to me like they won’t back down without first destroying everything they can.
    An industry that is one enormous spoiled bratty child.



‎"At some point we must draw a line across the ground of our home and our being, drive a spear into the land and say to the bulldozers, earthmovers, government and corporations, “thus far and no further.” If we do not, we shall later feel, instead of pride, the regret of Thoreau, that good but overly-bookish man, who wrote, near the end of his life, “If I repent of anything it is likely to be my good behaviour."

~ Edward Abbey

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