I have been watching and researching
the brucellosis issue, especially from DoL and APHIS sites, which
prompted my attending a DoL board meeting on July 29th in Helena.
During the meeting Dr. Marty Zaluski requested out of state funds
to speak at the Texas Animal Heath Commission. When I saw that the
TAHC site had audio of the meetings, I waited for the uploaded audio
files, downloaded them and began transcribing the testimony. I heard
that Dr. Zaluski submitted 50 pages of documentation, so I called
the TAHC and requested the public comments, which also included
statements from the Montana Stockgrowers Association, the Montana
Cattlemens Association and some Montana ranchers. These are statements
we dont normally hear here in Montana concerning brucellosis from
this agency and these associations or ranchers. I may compile a
side by side of their Montana public statements for comparison.
"Montana's DSA includes 282 operations with 73,200 cattle and
domestic bison. This fiscal year, 42,025 of the 73,200 animals have
been tested to achieve a 99% confidence that the disease (if it
exists) is present at a rate of less that 0.008%. The chance that
any one Montana animal is brucellosis positive is 0.00024%."
"In comparison, the state of Montana has an annual infection
rate of 0.007% with five affected herds over six years since 2007."
"There is no documented case of bulls spreading brucellosis."
"So what happens is you have cattle properties that are typically
on the flats, the river bottoms and the prairies, and then you have
the elk ground that is alot of time in the forest. So its not like
those elk are on private property typically, and in fact often times
those elk are on BLM or Forest Service land," "So there
are practices, its not like they come down on the flats, then spread
out five fetuses and they take off."
Heres a really good one - no mention of bison, "So really the
DSA in the state of Montana is in southwest Montana. And it is designed
to identify the cattle at risk from brucellosis positive elk. So
we know that brucellosis positive elk are in southwest Montana,
they can potentially expose cattle and so the key to identifying
the cattle at risk is to identify where the brucellosis positive
MSA, "There is an extremely
low risk of brucellosis transfer posed by cattle coming out of Montana.
While a small area of Montana in the Greater Yellowstone Area (GYA)
is affected by rare transfers of brucellosis from wildlife, the
state of Montana has proven highly effective in its efforts to mitigate
the spread of brucellosis."
Mr. Palmers testimony (audio file 10) on behalf
of the Matador Cattle Company (Koch Industries), the owner of the
Beaverhead Ranch in southwestern Montana, discussing how little
of an issue this is, "the majority of those times those elk
are not calving in the same location as the cows."
Darrel Stevenson, Stevenson Angus Ranch, "As
you can see the rate of incidence is extraordinarily low and our
policing system has proven to manage with superb efficiency....Why
isnt the science trusted? As reviewed in the attached, incident
rate in Montana is low and imported cattle to Texas become even
lower with a pre-shipment test? With no documented case of bulls
spreading Brucellosis, why are they bundled into the concern?"
The audio files at the TAHC site take forever
during business hours, so I downloaded them and uploaded to this
Audio file 8, Brucellosis
meeting begins at 18:57, Dr. Zaluski begins at 19:24.
Audio file 8 Transcript
Audio file 9
Audio file 9 Transcript
This transcript is only up to 9:59, the end of Dr. Marty Zaluski's,
uninterrupted presentation. Question and answers followed. Other
comments will be added shortly.
Audio file 10
Audio file 10 Transcript
Audio file 11
Audio file 11 Transcript
of the Sept. 10th TAHC meeting - TAHC site. Click on the audio
button to see the audio files. Dr. Marty Zaluski's testimony begins
on file 8. 8-11 cover the brucellosis subject.
The following documents were submitted by
Montana livestock interests as public statements to the Texas Animal
Health Commission concerning their Chapter 35 Rule Proposal on Brucellosis.
The commission meeting took place on Sept. 10, 2013, in Austin,
TX. DoL's Dr. Marty Zaluski attended the hearing to present the
science and Montana's interests. As a result of the public statements
and Dr. Zaluski's thorough presentation, Texas at least modified
the language in their rule to only affect the Designated Surveillance
Areas (DSAs) of Montana, Idaho and Wyoming, before passing it. In
a couple weeks that modified document will be available and I will
The original 72 page PDF document provided
by Texas Animal Health Commission is provided below, but I have
also separated out the specific Montana portions to make for easier
viewing and use, which are labeled and numbered based on the 72