Is this going to result in a new power grab?
This seems to be what is behind the attempt to put elk under the purview of the Montana Department of Livestock. The article indicates that brucellosis is more prevalent on private lands where hunting is limited and elk congregate. I think the real question that should be asked is should livestock be the driving force behind wildlife management. Not only has this issue been devastating to bison, now it appears that the livestock industry is building up momentum for the same for elk. Anal probes for bull elk now too?
The hysteria surrounding brucellosis has allowed the livestock industry to fight even modest attempts at change in how it is managed. For several years the Montana Stockgrowers Association has fought attempts to create a zone around Yellowstone which would call for mandatory vaccination and greater testing of livestock by saying that it would be unfair to the ranchers who would be affected. In reality, the plan takes away from their ability to hold the brucellosis myth over the heads of the entire state by limiting the area affected by a brucellosis infection to just the zone around Yellowstone instead of the entire state. They don’t like this and they’re fighting.
Let’s face it. Brucellosis is here to stay. There is no way to rid the ecosystem of it now that it is an endemic part of the Greater Yellowstone, and keep in mind, it was brought here by the livestock industry in the first place. The same livestock industry that was partially responsible for, and benefitted from, the destruction of wolves, grizzlies, bison and Native Americans which inhabited the West.
New Brucellosis “Hot Spots” Found In Yellowstone Area.
MATTHEW BROWN, Associated Press