Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations

Montana Wildlife Commission Approves Brucellosis Work Plan

A major study released Wednesday now says elk – not bison - are the primary source of new brucellosis infections in Greater Yellowstone Area cattle.
Flickr User Ian Sane CC-BY-2.0

Montana Fish and Wildlife Commissioner Gary Wolfe says wildlife should not be managed like livestock. That’s why he joined the rest of the commission this week in rejecting a proposal to haze diseased elk away from healthy herds.

Wolfe compares the idea to animal husbandry:

"When you’re dealing with domestic animals it’s common that you round up animals. You move them. You drive them from pasture to pasture. You keep this herd of sheep or goats or cattle separate from another herd of sheep or cattle."

The Fish and Wildlife Commission Thursday unanimously voted down the idea.

"Those elk are on the landscape 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year. There’s just no way that you can reasonably expect human hazing is going to keep those animals separate from each other," Wolfe says.

The commission gave tentative approval to a brucellosis work plan. Wolfe says it emphasizes separation of elk and cattle during the brucellosis transmission period.

It now goes out for public review and comment.

The commission will take final action at its October meeting.

O’Brien first landed at Montana Public Radio three decades ago as a news intern while attending the University of Montana School of Journalism. His first career job out of school was covering the 1995 Montana Legislature. When the session wrapped up, O’Brien was fortunate enough to land a full-time position at the station as a general assignment reporter. Feel free to drop him a line at
Related Content