MDOL Accepting Public Comment for Administrative Rule Changes

The Montana Department of Livestock (MDOL) will be holding public meetings seeking comment on a number of proposed rule changes. Click here for a complete list of the proposed rule changes.

Public Meetings have been scheduled in the following communities:

  • July 17th, 9 am at Absarokee Elementary School
  • July 17th, 2 pm at Bridger Elementary
  • July 18th, 9 am at The Eagles in Big Timber
  • July 23rd, 10 am at Jefferson High in Boulder
  • July 24th, 10 am at Townsend School

Of particular note are the changes to rule 32.3.436. The change would require all female cattle over 12 months of age to be official vaccinates for brucellosis in any county that contains or borders a brucellosis designated surveillance area (DSA). Currently, female cattle in Gallatin, Madison, Park, and Beaverhead Counties are required to be vaccinates; the proposed rule would expand that requirement to Carbon, Stillwater, Sweet Grass, Jefferson, and Broadwater Counties.

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. For more information on the Montana Department of Livestock, visit

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 Comments on the draft rule will be accepted through November 29, 2010, and can be submitted to the Department of Livestock via email at 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.