The Montana Department of Livestock will hold public meetings in Billings and Three Forks on a proposed rule that would remove brucellosis vaccination requirements for cattle imported into Montana from states, provinces and territories that have been brucellosis-free for at least 10 years.
The proposal, said state veterinarian Dr. Marty Zaluski, is based on negligible risk of importing the disease from brucellosis-free areas.
“While this would be a change from the way we’ve done things in the past, the simple fact is that 46 states have been brucellosis-free for at least 10 years or more, and there is negligible risk of importing the disease from those states,” Zaluski said.
Zaluski said the proposal will benefit producers, who imported 151,690 head of cattle into Montana in 2013, by reducing regulation and vaccination costs, and eliminating the need for upon-arrival quarantines.
“The proposed rule will not impact our efforts on brucellosis surveillance and science-based prevention in areas of known risk in southwestern Montana,” Zaluski said.
Vaccination requirements for the four counties (Beaverhead, Gallatin, Madison and Park) within the state’s Designated Surveillance Area, where all female cattle and bison over four months of age must be vaccinated, would remain unchanged.
The meetings are scheduled for 1 p.m. on November 13 at Public Auction Yards (PAYS) in Billings, and for 10 a.m. on November 14 at Headwaters Livestock Auction in Three Forks.
Public comment on the proposed rule, which closes at 5 p.m. on November 19, may be submitted at the meetings, or via email at MDOLcomments@mt.gov, U.S. postal mail at Montana Department of Livestock, P.O. Box 202001, Helena, MT 59610-2001, or fax at 406/444-1929.
The proposed rule can be viewed here.