ISDA Investigates Possible Brucellosis Case

Ranch quarantined in Bonneville County's Swan Valley. Compiled by staff

Published on: Oct 17, 2005

The Idaho State Department of Agriculture  has quarantined a ranch in Bonneville County's Swan Valley after the department's Veterinary Medical Officers identified a possible case of Brucellosis in cattle. Brucellosis tests are conducted as part of the state and USDA's routine Market Cattle Inspection Program under the Cooperative State-Federal Brucellosis Eradication Program. A cow that reacted positively to a Brucellosis test was traced to the Swan Valley ranch.

ISDA Veterinary Medical Officers have tested the entire herd for Brucellosis. Additional cows reacted positively to these tests. Further tests are being conducted in accordance with the USDA's Uniform Methods and Rules for the Eradication of Brucellosis. These tests will confirm whether the animals are infected with or exposed to Brucellosis.

There is no cause for concern about safety of meat and milk products. While Brucellosis can affect people, cooking of meat products and pasteurization of milk products destroys the organism.

ISDA has a team of five Veterinary Medical Officers who work cooperatively with federal veterinarians and are trained to respond to animal health issues.

Brucellosis is caused by the bacteria Brucella abortus, and can affect cattle, elk, bison and other animals. An infection in animals can result in spontaneous abortion, decreased milk production, weight loss, infertility and lameness.

It has been three years since the last case of Brucellosis was identified in Idaho. Prior to the case in 2002, the most recent case in Idaho was in 1989. Pending conclusion of the investigation into this most recent case, Idaho retains its Brucellosis Class Free status held since 1991.

The ISDA and USDA are conducting an epidemiological investigation, which includes identification and testing of all herds that had contact with the quarantined herd.

Complete laboratory evaluation of the quarantined cattle herd will take approximately 21 days. In the meantime, all cattle herds that had any contact with the quarantined cattle herd will be tested.