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July 28, 2008

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DNA Fingers Elk As Livestock-Disease Culprit

From the Associated Press:

A federal DNA study points to wildlife — most likely elk — as the source of [brucellosis] found in a cow near Yellowstone National Park . . . .

"This is the smoking gun we were looking for," [Montana State Veterinarian Marty] Zaluski said. . . .

The potential role of elk in spreading brucellosis already had raised tensions between livestock producers and sporting groups worried over the potential for reductions in herd sizes. . . .

A representative of . . . the Bozeman-based Gallatin Wildlife Association, said Thursday that the federal report needs greater scrutiny [and that] he was concerned government agencies will begin treating elk like infected bison, which are periodically captured and slaughtered as they migrate from Yellowstone National Park to prevent contact with cattle.

Be sure to check out the full story.

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