Montana and Wyoming infections and capture of elk.

The last week has been filled with many stories about brucellosis and its impacts on wildlife and livestock.

First, Montana has announced plans to capture and test elk for brucellosis then place radio collars on those females that test positive to see where they go and where they give birth.

Montana plans to capture 500 elk for disease testing.
By MATTHEW BROWN – The Associated Press

This comes at the same time that cattle in Wyoming have tested positive for brucellosis which has caused the state to implement wider testing to determine if there are other cases nearby.

Cows in Park County cattle herd test positive for brucellosis exposure.
By JEFF GEARINO – Star-Tribune staff writer

Wyoming plans to test up to 3,000 cattle.
Associated Press

On top of all of this news come reports that domestic bison on Ted Turner’s Flying D ranch have tested positive for the disease.  These are not the bison from the Yellowstone quarantine program.

Brucellosis Found in Domestic Bison Herd.
Montana Department of Livestock

Brucellosis Found In Domestic Bison Near Bozeman.

In response to the infections of brucellosis in previous years the state of Montana implemented a plan which called for increased surveillance in counties which surround Yellowstone National Park in an effort to spare the entire state of losing its brucellosis free status in the event that further infections occur.

Livestock officials set meetings on brucellosis rule
The Belgrade News

All too often, when infections are found, officials blame elk before there is any evidence to support the claim.  While it may be likely that elk are behind these incidents it is important to investigate other sources in an effort to determine whether other cattle may be the source as well.

One thing has been determined with regard to past incidents, bison are not to blame.

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About The Author

Ken Cole

Ken Cole is a 5th generation Idahoan, an avid fly fisherman, wildlife enthusiast, and photographer. He is the interim Idaho Director for Western Watersheds Project. We do not accept unsolicited “guest” authors or advertising.

5 Responses to Important developments on the Brucellosis front.

  1. ProWolf in WY says:

    So I have to be a smart ass now. How come hunters aren’t up in arms that 500 elk are being captured? Is that better than wolves eating them?

    • elk275 says:

      It is called the installment plan 500 elk over 5 years or 100 elk per calender year. Just like buy a new truck, 8 elk a month verus 500 elk all at once.

  2. Cody Coyote says:

    About the latest Wyoming brucellosis outbreak . It’s in the Meeteetse area. The cattle that tested positive were detected after they had been shipped out in early October. Backtracking showed they had been mingled with nine other ranch herds on the same summer grazing allotment. Uh-oh…

    Last night the state vet’s office held a public meeting at the Meeteeste Conservation District office to discuss all this. Unfortunately , all the news media were over here in Cody covering the election returns. The cynic in me says ‘ how convenient to schedule the brucellosis outbreak meeting on the one night when you know the news media will be tied down elsewhere’.

    No matter. We’ll know more here in a couple days. I’m too lazy to call around to the few meat processors hereabouts and the few ranchers that I can have a civil conversation with ( being pro-Wolf has sorta blackballed me from chomping cigars and tossing back straight shots with the local Cattle Barons like I used to ). In the meantime I’ve been telling my Park County WY friends if you really like homegrown beef and burger, now would be a good time to stock up for the holidays and the Little Ice Age of the Republican party comeback.

    • ProWolf in WY says:

      That is interesting Cody. I can’t imagine a pro-wolf person would ever be able to chomp cigars and toss back shots with many ranchers. By the way, I love your comments you put in the Star Tribune. Those commenter make these ones here look like preschool teachers.

  3. Nancy says:

    Ralph, did you get my email this morning regarding LC0029?


November 2010


‎"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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