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Vet urges ranchers to adopt brucellosis plan

BRIDGER, Mont. (AP)--The Montana state veterinarian is urging ranchers to support a Livestock Department plan that would allow the state to regain its brucellosis-free status.

Marty Zaluski spoke Feb. 2 to about 80 people at Bridger Elementary School, wrapping up a series of public meetings in each of the seven Yellowstone-area counties highlighted in the plan.

The state's plan to eradicate brucellosis relies heavily on ranchers honestly reporting their animals' interaction with elk and bison, which carry the disease, as well as vaccinating and testing livestock for the disease. The effort could cost at least $2.5 million in 2009.

In addition to eliminating the disease, the action plan is intended to quash any perception that Montana cattle aren't safe.

The plan is focused on Gallatin, Madison, Park, Carbon, Beaverhead, Sweetgrass and Stillwater counties--areas where livestock are considered most likely to come into contact with brucellosis-infected wildlife.



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