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BRUCELLIOSIS MYTH!
6 years ago
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The Yellowstone Bison Brucellosis Myth

The Montana Department of Livestock (DOL) claims it is slaughtering the Yellowstone bison because they carry brucellosis. This claim rings hollow in light of a few facts: There has never been a documented transmission of brucellosis from wild bison to livestock. Even if buffalo were capable of spreading the disease, there are no cattle on these lands from mid-October to mid-June, making brucellosis transmission impossible.

All bison captured and slaughtered this winter have been bulls, which are incapable of transmitting the disease. The ten bull bison slaughtered this week tested positive for brucellosis antibodies, not infection. Because bison are known to build natural resistance to brucellosis, these animals may actually be the strongest, healthiest animals of the herd. The overwhelming majority of bison slaughtered according to these test results don't actually carry the disease.

Most bison that test positive at the capture facility test negative under the more accurate post-slaughter necropsy. The DOL is using a new methodology for detecting antibodies to brucellosis in wild bison called the Fluorescent Polarization Assay (FPA). This testing method involves the use of antigens tagged with a fluorescent material which detect IgG (immunoglobulin G) type antibodies to brucellosis and bind with them. Binding between the antibody and the tagged antigen results in an increase in polarization which is detected by the analyzer and reported as a quantitative result. This result is interpreted as positive or negative based on certain cut-off values. Studies have established that the specificity and sensitivity of this test were found to be much higher when compared to Particle Concentration Fluorescence Immunoassay and the CARD test (Nielsen et al 1998).

However, in spite of the advanced technology of this testing method it is only capable of detecting IgG (long term immunity) antibodies, not the presence of brucella organisms. The major advantage of FPA over the Card test is that it will detect a quantitative level of antibodies, which may or may not directly correlate to the presence of an infection, whereas the Card test simply detects the qualitative presence or absence of antibodies. Although the DOL has finally begun using advanced technology to detect brucellosis antibodies in wild bison, they are still unable to correlate their test results to prove actual infection.

Culture of tissues from slaughtered bison are no longer being done to confirm their testing results. In spite of these facts, DOL continues to use the results of both the FPA and the Card test to send low risk bison (i.e. bulls) to slaughter.

Even if only the Card test is positive and the more specific FPA is negative, a buffalo will be sent to slaughter. Why is DOL spending thousands of tax payer's dollars on new technology if it will not be properly utilized and potentially save uninfected bison from needless slaughter?

Sources;
Nielsen, K., Gall, D., Lin, M., Massangill, C., Samartino, L., Perez, B., Coats, M., Hennager, S., Dajer, A., Nicoletti, P., Thomas, F. 1998. Diagnosis of bovine brucellosis using a homogeneous fluorescence polarization assay. Veterinary Immunology and Immunopathology. 66(1998) 321-329.

Perkin/Elmer Life Sciences, web site. Accessed 01/10/02.
Lumigen web site. Accessed 01/10/02. USAHA web site information from 1997.

Brucelliosis
6 years ago

As you know 2 cattle contracted this disease in Montana. They had to blame it on Elk which does transmit the disease. You sure don't see them wiping out Elk herds cause the good ole boys wouldn't have anything to kill during Elk season. You have so much info that I am jumping for joy. This is the biggest myth everyone uses and no one bothers to find out the facts. God it angers me. If you start something, and we find the judges email address, on buffalo, keep me posted as I will sign. I fully realize how dangerous these animals are as they kill more park visitors than bears do due to ignorance on behalf of human. Ya need a healthy respect from a distance on all wild animals. Like I said, I have seen this slaughter and could only cry. I cursed mankind that day as to how and why someone could do this in such cold blood. Peace and I am with you all the way

6 years ago

Yes, elk are the ones who transmitted the 2 cases of brucelliosis and even though I don't want to see any animal slaughtered I certainly hate for the bison to get the bad rap.   Everytime I write or call Martin Zulaski  (Marty Zaluski
State Veterinarian
mzaluski@mt.gov) and ask him to give me JUST ONE documented case of a bison giving cattle brucelliosis he either hangs up on me or answers my email with a lot of blah,blah, blah bull$hit!   They are all a bunch of 'suck a$$e$ that run Yellowstone and other agencies in Montana!)  

Here is a link to addresses to write or email them when you get real angry. 

http://www.buffalofieldcampaign.org/actnow/politicians.html

I was trying to find an article on the C.U.T. (Church Universal Triumphant) where they were ordered to share lands with the bison yet they never allowed the bison to roam.   They were paid millions $$$ to give them access but like I said they did not obey.   Now they are trying to pass something which will 'allow' 25 bison per year (what a joke) to graze on 'their' (C.U.T.'s) land!   All of them are so crooked!!



This post was modified from its original form on 26 Jul, 16:48
CHURCH UNIVERSAL TRIUMPHANT ~ Royal Teton Ranch
6 years ago

Phone (inside USA): 1-800-245-5445
Phone (outside USA): 1-406-848-9500
Fax (in U 1-800-221-8307
Fax (out of U 1-406-848-9555

Feedback & Suggestions: feedback@tsl.org
Office of the President - Jacqueline Millman: jmillman@tsl.org
OR 406-848-9244

P.O. Box 5000
Gardiner, Montana 59030-5000

Web: http://www.tsl.org/ContactUs.asp

Church
6 years ago

Is this "church" group outside Gardner MT? That would be north gate to Yellowstone.  Hell, if you lived closer, I would take you to Yellowstone. Love how you view these people because they are all assholes and have the most closed minds I have ever dealt with (including my own family)

6 years ago

Sandy, I'm not certain exactly where it is located.   I would love to volunteer for BFC but I don't think I could stand watching any bison get slaughtered,hazed or mistreated in any way.   I am glad there are strong people to document this and keep us informed but I don't think I could.   I wished I lived closer too as I would love to see the bison in person.   I could also go tell the C.U.T. what I think about them but I would probably wind up in jail.  LOL

1 year ago

Here is the ranchers stubborn reason for exterminating the bison. 

Pretty thin!

1 year ago

...they need some one to do more than tell them what they think of them!WTF!!!!!!Why would any one do this?The real reason?!?!?!?

1 year ago

the real reason is MONEY....as it always is

the ranchers have it,the people who care about the bison don't,unless they are selling tannned hides or meat!

1 year ago

Only one reason I can see, their palms are well greasted by the cattle ranchers!   Greed is an evil thing and nothing will stand in it's way.

1 year ago

You know, there has NOT been one documented case of bison giving brucelliosis to cattle or anything else.   In fact the cattle are the culprits or one of the culpits that carry it!

1 year ago

TRY TELLING THAT TO A MONTANA CATTLE RANCHER WITH A SHOTGUN,AND A GUN BELT FULL OF BULLETS..



This post was modified from its original form on 24 Jun, 16:27
1 year ago

Sadly, you are so right, Tasunka.   Even though bison probably carry the antibody (like the cattle and elk and who knows what else), they have NOT given brucelliosis to any animal.

 

The Yellowstone Bison Brucellosis Myth

The Montana Department of Livestock (DOL) claims it is slaughtering the Yellowstone bison because they carry brucellosis. This claim rings hollow in light of a few facts: There has never been a documented transmission of brucellosis from wild bison to livestock. Even if buffalo were capable of spreading the disease, there are no cattle on these lands from mid-October to mid-June, making brucellosis transmission impossible.

All bison captured and slaughtered this winter have been bulls, which are incapable of transmitting the disease. The ten bull bison slaughtered this week tested positive for brucellosis antibodies, not infection. Because bison are known to build natural resistance to brucellosis, these animals may actually be the strongest, healthiest animals of the herd. The overwhelming majority of bison slaughtered according to these test results don't actually carry the disease.

 

http://www.buffalofieldcampaign.org/science/brucellosismyth.html

1 year ago

Here is a quote of the article below.  As you will read, the CATTLE brought it to the U.S.A. in 1910 and then it was identified in the bison in 1917.   So we can see who brought it here.

 

"tic cattle in the United States in 1910. In 1917, it was first identified in Yellowstone bison."

 

THE BUFFALO WAR

 

The Disease



buffalo on road in Yellowstone

Bison outside Yellowstone National Park  (aren't they beautiful?)
 

Though bison are well-suited for the harsh climate of Yellowstone National Park, the winters from 1995 to 1997 were particularly severe in the high country, forcing bison to leave the park in search of food. They found milder conditions and convenient grazing on several U.S. Forest Service allotments that were used by area cattle ranching families in the summer.

In 1995, the Yellowstone bison herd was designated by the Montana state legislature as a species in need of disease management, as some bison carry brucellosis.

The Montana state legislature then designated the Deparment of Livestock (DOL) to be the lead agency for the bison/brucellosis disease management outside of Yellowstone. It was the DOL's responsibility to work with other state and federal agencies either to force the bison leaving Yellowstone National Park back within park boundaries or to capture and test for brucellosis those bison that could not be moved back into the park. The DOL's role in bison management has been problematic for environmental groups who believe that wildlife officials, not a livestock agency, should be managing bison.



1 year ago

Brucellosis

the triple threat of brucellosis ad

USDA film, 1954
 

Ranchers are nervous about mingling between cattle and bison because of brucellosis, which can decrease milk production and animal weight, cause spontaneous abortion of the animal's first fetus and cause infertility. For nearly 60 years and at a cost of billions of dollars, the livestock industry across the United States has waged a war to eliminate brucellosis from its herds. In 1952, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) estimated that annual losses due to this disease were more than $400 million. To prevent an epidemic of the disease, federal and state agriculture officials have eliminated infected herds.

Brucellosis can also infect human beings, causing persistent, intermittent flu-like symptoms known as undulant fever. Transmission occurs through direct contact between a person's open cuts and birthing fluids or animal tissue. Veterinarians, butchers and farmers have been those most commonly affected, though the incidence of brucellosis in humans is extremely rare.

Brucellosis was first identified in domestic cattle in the United States in 1910. In 1917, it was first identified in Yellowstone bison.

The USDA, responding to livestock and public health concerns, began an effort to control and eradicate brucellosis in 1934 by developing vaccines and depopulating entire herds when several animals tested positive for the bacterium. Currently, all but Florida and South Dakota are brucellosis-free, and these last two states are poised to eradicate the disease.

After more than 30 years and $30 million, and the sacrifice of many cattle, Montana achieved brucellosis-free status in 1985. That same year, state and federal agencies began eliminating some Yellowstone bison that migrated out of park boundaries. Since the winter of 1991-92, Native Americans from reservations such as northern Cheyenne, Crow, and Fort Peck have sometimes assisted in harvesting and using the bison carcasses. Other bison carcasses have been distributed to nonprofit charitable organizations and food banks.

A scientific dispute

buffalo in headlock

Trapped bison
 

Yellowstone's bison herd carries an uncontrolled pocket of the disease. However, detractors of the slaughter believe there are flaws in the bison management:

  • Bison migrate out of the park to graze in the winter and spring, whereas cattle are not placed on the allotments until June, after most bison have gone back over the park border. However, there is disagreement about how long the Brucella bacteria can survive in the environment. As a precaution, cattle and bison are kept from interacting for at least 45 days.

  • Transmission occurs mainly through direct contact with birthing matter, but state and federal officials have included hundreds of male bison in their slaughter, contending that males still present a risk.

  • Methods of testing for brucellosis are hardly foolproof. Among those bison who field-tested positive for brucellosis and were killed between 1996 and 1999, 80 percent later tested negative for the disease in more reliable lab tests.

  • Thousands of elk in the region also carry the disease, but are not managed similarly.

  • There has been no documented case of brucellosis transmission in the wild between cattle and bison. Known transmission has only occurred in the lab.

Today, some tribes and Native groups are trying to reintroduce bison onto their reservations. They are also working to take in unwanted bison from Yellowstone instead of having these animals sent to slaughter. So far, these requests have been denied by government officials.