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This Week in Fish and Wildlife: Elk testing negative for brucellosis

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Posted at 1:43 PM, Feb 23, 2023
and last updated 2023-02-23 15:46:52-05

This Week in Fish and Wildlife we talk about brucellosis. When most people in southwest Montana think of brucellosis, bison is the animal that first comes to mind.

FWP’s Morgan Jacobsen notes that bison are not the only animal to carry the disease that can cause cattle to abort. Jacobsen says each year Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks biologists also test elk for the disease. He says this year the testing was done on elk in the Pioneer Mountains.

According to Jacobsen FWP tested 149 elk and all of the tests came back negative. He says the elk are tested in different areas each year to see where and how prevalent the disease is in Region 3, which is most of southwest Montana.

He also tells MTN’s Chet Layman that testing elk is no easy endeavor. Elk are netted from helicopters then a blood sample is taken and analyzed. Now duplicate that process, in this years testing 149 times.

Jacobsen also notes the fact that the tests in the Pioneers this year all coming back negative, which is a good sign for landowners and others in the area of those elk.