Press Release: Informational Meetings on Brucellosis Action Plan Scheduled

DOL – The Montana Department of Livestock will discuss its brucellosis action plan with livestock producers at a series of informational meetings in mid-January and early February.

Meetings have been scheduled for Beaverhead, Carbon, Gallatin, Madison, Stillwater and Sweet Grass counties.

State veterinarian Dr. Marty Zaluski said the meetings are a continuation of the department’s efforts to keep livestock producers involved and informed.

“We want to make sure producers know exactly what the (brucellosis action) plan means for their operations,” Zaluski said. “The meetings will give producers a chance to discuss the plan and ask questions.”

The plan, which can be viewed or downloaded and printed from MDOL’s web site at http://liv.mt.gov/liv/Brucellosis/Revised%20BAP_112008.pdf, is designed to help the state regain its Brucellosis Class Free status as quickly as possible. It was developed by work group that included livestock producers, veterinarians, livestock market operators, and representatives from industry organizations such as the Montana Stockgrowers Association, Montana Cattlemen’s Association and Montana Farm Bureau Federation.

After a five-week public comment period that lead to significant revisions of the draft plan, the revised plan received preliminary approval from the Board of Livestock at its November meeting.

Dates, times and locations of meetings:

· January 13: Gallatin County – Three Forks, Headwaters Livestock, 11:45 a.m. The informational session will be included on the agenda of the Gallatin Beef Producers annual educational meeting. Contact: Gallatin County Extension, 406/388-3213

· January 20: Madison County – Ennis, Ennis Firehall, 3 p.m. Contact: MSU Extension agent Andrea Sarchet, 406/287-3282.

· January 22: Sweet Grass County – Big Timber, Big Timber Library, 1:30 p.m. Contact: MSU Extension agent Mark King, 406/932-5146.

· January 23: Beaverhead County – Dillion/Fairgrounds/4-H Building, 1:30 p.m. Contact: MSU Extension agent JP Tanner, 406/ 683-3785.

· January 28: Stillwater County – Columbus, Fairgrounds/Little Metra, 6:30 p.m. Contact: MSU Extension agents Lindsay Wallace or Lee Schmelzer, 406/322-8035.

· February 2: Carbon County, Bridger, location to be determined, 6:30 p.m. Contact: MSU Extension agent Travis Standley, 406/962-3522.

Details on a meeting for Park County livestock producers, which will likely be held in early February, are pending.

MDOL will also make an informational presentation at the Montana Veterinary Medical Association annual winter meeting in late January, and for livestock markets and market veterinarians.

Montana had been designated as Brucellosis Class Free since 1985, but lost that status earlier this year after the second of two brucellosis-infected cows were found within a one-year period. The state is eligible to reapply for Class Free Status in May, 2009.

For additional information about brucellosis or the brucellosis action plan, see MDOL’s brucellosis update page at http://liv.mt.gov/Brucellosis/index.asp.

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