MT Department of Livestock Sets Meetings on Designated Surveillance Area

The Montana Department of Livestock will hold a series of public meetings about codifying into administrative rule the official order that created the Designated Surveillance Area for brucellosis.

Meetings have been scheduled for:
· Livingston – 3 p.m., November 9, Livingston Public Library.
· Three Forks – 3 p.m., November 10, Headwaters Livestock Auction.
· Twin Bridges – 3 p.m., November 23, Twin Bridges Fairgrounds.

The Designated Surveillance Area (DSA) was created by official order in January 2010 when its predecessor, the Brucellosis Action Plan, expired. Both the Action Plan and DSA were created and implemented to help the state regain and maintain its brucellosis-free status after the disease was found twice in a 12-month period (May 2007, May 2008).

State Veterinarian Dr. Marty Zaluski said codifying the DSA order into rule appears appropriate “given the long-term challenges of managing brucellosis.”

“The official order was enacted as a way to expedite implementation of the DSA after the Action Plan expired,” Zaluski explained. “However, given the long-term risk in areas were brucellosis is known to exist in wildlife, it seems more appropriate to have the DSA as a rule.”

The draft rule specifies boundaries for the DSA, and requirements for testing and individual animal identification. It also mandates Official Calfhood Vaccination (OCV) for eligible animals in a four-county area.

“The draft rule basically outlines a plan for surveillance and monitoring in an area of increased-risk,” Zaluski said.

The DSA currently encompasses parts of Beaverhead, Gallatin, Madison and Park counties, whereas the Action Plan encompassed the entirety of those counties in addition to Carbon, Stillwater and Sweet Grass counties. Zaluski said any rule adopted will be periodically reviewed.

The draft rule will be published on October 28, and will be available on the department’s web site at liv.mt.gov. Comments on the draft rule will be accepted through November 29, 2010, and can be submitted to the Department of Livestock via email at DSA-comments@mt.gov or U.S. Postal Service mail at DSA Comments, Montana Department of Livestock, Helena MT, 59620-2001. Public comments will also be accepted at the meetings.

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Montana Stockgrowers Association

The Montana Stockgrowers Association, a non-profit membership organization, has worked on behalf of Montana’s cattle ranching families since 1884. Our mission is to protect and enhance Montana ranch families’ ability to grow and deliver safe, healthy, environmentally wholesome beef to the world.

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