Livestock disease found in 2nd Montana cow

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BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) — State livestock officials reported Monday that they've found the disease brucellosis in another Montana cattle herd, marking the second case to be announced in less than two weeks.

The Department of Livestock said that the cow from a herd in Carbon County tested positive for the disease after culture taken from the animal was sent to the National Veterinary Services Laboratories in Ames, Iowa. The remainder of the herd has been quarantined for further testing.

Brucellosis can cause pregnant animals to abort their young. It's been largely eradicated from livestock but persists in elk and other wildlife in and around Yellowstone National Park.

State Veterinarian Marty Zaluski says the infected animal had tested negative during a prior test last year. The positive test came after the cow spent time grazing within the state's designated brucellosis surveillance zone in Park County.

Brucellosis has been found in Montana cattle in five of the past eight years.

Livestock officials on Dec. 5 announced a cow from a herd in Madison County had tested positive for the disease. Zaluski says tests on other animals in that herd came back negative.

In the past, two brucellosis infections in such a short period would have resulted in the state losing its disease-free status from the U.S. Department of Agriculture. That's no longer the case after federal officials relaxed their rules in recent years.

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