Montana has had a second confirmed case and is losing brucellosis-free status, dropping to the lower Class A status. The change limits movement of cattle interstate to prevent spread of the disease, which according to Lyndsey Griffin of USDA's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service could be a significant burden.
"A change of class can have some major economic impact," Griffin says. "It affects trade, it affects relations with other states."
Griffin says if impacts not only Montana but also Idaho and Wyoming. Two weeks ago it was reported that Wyoming would maintain its brucellosis-free status and the infected herd that was found in Daniel, Wyo. was being depopulated. Wyoming could lose that status should another infected herd be found in a 12 month period.
Griffin says that Montana will be able to attempt to regain brucellosis-free status at the end of May 2009.