FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Thursday March 16, 2020
Dr. Eric Liska, Brucellosis Program Veterinarian, (406) 444-3374
Dr. Tahnee Szymanski, Assistant State Veterinarian, (406) 444-2043
Rescheduled-Public Meeting on Ruby Mountains Elk Capture Results
MT Dept. of Livestock will hold conference call April 2, 2020
Helena, Mont. – The Montana Department of Livestock (DOL) has rescheduled the public meeting originally scheduled in Twin Bridges on March 18, 2020. Due to concerns about contribution to the spread of COVID-19, the meeting will be held as a conference call on April 2, 2020. Those interested in joining should call (406) 444-4647 at 1:00 p.m. Callers will be prompted to enter the Conference ID 605438 to join.
During this conference call, the Department of Livestock will discuss the recent discovery of two brucellosis exposed elk in the Ruby Mountains. One hundred elk were sampled by Montana Fish Wildlife and Parks for brucellosis exposure as part of ongoing surveillance to determine the incidence and distribution of the disease in wildlife. Forty-three of the captured animals were fitted with GPS collars to monitor their movement.
The capture occurred in the Ruby Mountains outside of the current boundary of Montana’s Designated Surveillance Area (DSA). The DSA is an area where cattle and domestic bison are subject to brucellosis testing (movement/sale) and identification requirements due to the risk of exposure to brucellosis infected wildlife. In the past, the discovery of brucellosis exposed elk outside of the DSA has resulted in adjustments to its boundary to ensure that at-risk cattle and domestic bison are included in brucellosis surveillance.
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 http://liv.mt.gov/.