Vets wary of disease 'hot-zone'
A federal government plan to carve out the Yellowstone area as an animal disease "hot-zone" faces opposition from some state veterinarians, who worry the move would lower cattle industry safeguards.
Creation of the zone would recognize Yellowstone as the last remaining region in the country where the disease brucellosis lingers. That could ease sanctions faced by some cattle producers when infections occur.
State veterinarians from across the country had backed the idea last year at an annual convention in North Carolina. But several have since said their support hinges on stepped-up efforts to curb the disease in Yellowstone's wildlife - something they say hasn't yet occurred.
I've said all along that the solution for the Brucellosis problem is for the Federal Government to control the Brucellosis in the animals, like elk and bison, under their control in Yellowstone National Park. A special zone is never going to work and it looks like we are starting to see those objections I said would come along.
Creation of a special brucellosis management zone has been pushed by officials in the Yellowstone states of Idaho, Montana and Wyoming. They want to limit the economic consequences of future infections.
But backing from state veterinarians outside the region is considered key to the plan's success. They want assurances that Yellowstone's wildlife brucellosis isn't spreading and is actively being addressed.
The special zone is not going to do any good if other states don't recognize that it exits.
If the federal government moved forward absent widespread support for its plan, veterinarians from opposing states could impose their own restrictions on cattle imported from the three Yellowstone states.
Absent further progress on the wildlife front, South Dakota state veterinarian Sam Holland said states such as his own would be reluctant to accept cattle under the proposed Yellowstone hot-zone plan.
"It's going to really limit the market for those cattle," he said.
I hate to say I told you so, but that is the case here. Tackling the Brucellosis issue in wildlife is the key to making this work. As long as the Federal Government exempts itself from controlling Brucellosis the special Zone is never going to work. Why since the Feds make us control Brucellosis are they exempt from the requirement? Why shouldn't they be working on the problem? Either do away with all Brucellosis requirements or follow the law, It's real simple.