Last fall, the Montana Department of Livestock adopted rule changes pertaining to brucellosis vaccination in Big Sky Country. The change increased the number of counties in Montana in which brucellosis vaccination is required from four to ten.
“Producers that have female cattle or domestic bison in Beaverhead, Big Horn, Broadwater, Carbon, Gallatin, Jefferson, Madison, Park, Stillwater, and Sweet Grass counties need to make sure their livestock are vaccinated against brucellosis,” said Eric Liska, brucellosis program veterinarian with the livestock department.
Liska says it’s important to note that this is not an expansion of the current designated surveillance area for brucellosis.
“We realize that wildlife can move beyond those boundaries and so we want people that border on our designated surveillance area or counties that border the surveillance area to make sure their cattle are protected, which they’re doing and have been doing it for years,” said Liska.
In addition to the new counties, the rule change no longer requires vaccination to be completed by the end of December and no longer specifies calfhood vaccination.
“Rather than these heifers or females needing to be vaccinated by the end of the year, they now need to be vaccinated by the time they’re 12 months of age,” said Liska. “An official calfhood vaccinate is between the ages of 4 and 12 months of age, so we just need them vaccinated prior to a year of age. This opens up markets to allow these animals to be sold.”
The goal of rule changes like this is to help keep Montana’s livestock industry open for business with trading partners both here in the United States and around the world.
If ranchers have questions about these new brucellosis vaccination rules, they contact either the Montana Department of Livestock in Helena or their own local veterinarian.
Reporting by Russell Nemetz for MTN News