The Montana Board of Livestock is taking public comments on a proposal to adjust boundaries and implement new animal identification standards for cattle within the state’s Designated Surveillance Area, which is a disease management area intended to reduce the risk of brucellosis transmission from wildlife to domestic livestock.

The area includes parts of Beaverhead, Gallatin, Madison and Park counties nearest to the nation’s last known remaining reservoir of bovine brucellosis in the Greater Yellowstone Area. Reducing the risk of transmission is meant to protect the state’s ability to market cattle to other states.

“Other states, specifically destination states for Montana cattle such as Nebraska, South Dakota and Colorado, have been implementing stricter import requirements for Montana cattle due to the potential of livestock exposure to brucellosis-infected wildlife in a small portion of the state,” says Eric Liska, the state’s staff brucellosis veterinarian. “They understandably want to make sure they do not import disease into their respective states, and they want to be assured that we’re doing everything we can to mitigate that risk.”

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