Continuing to Keep Brucellosis Out of Utah Dairies
Continuing to Keep Brucellosis Out of Utah Dairies

Dr. Clell V. Bagley, D.V.M.
USU Extension Veterinarian

    Brucellosis has almost been eradicated from cattle in the U.S., but there are still a few infected herds as well as the bison and elk infection problem in the greater Yellowstone Park area. We have not had brucellosis in Utah cattle for several years. By following the laws and regulations that are in place, Utah dairy producers can continue to keep this serious disease problem out of their herds.

    The risk of introducing brucellosis back into herds within the state is increased when cattle are purchased from out of state. This risk is further increased if the cattle are purchased through a “marketing channel” rather than directly from their farm of origin. When the demand for female cattle is high, cattle tend to be shipped much further to take advantage of higher prices. This may result in cattle moving through two or three states and then finally being shipped to Utah. This greatly increases the level of risk for brucellosis, because the true origin is hidden. The current laws and regulations take these different levels of risk into account and require further procedures for the greater levels of risk.

    These varying levels of risk make it critically important that the laws and regulations for import be closely followed or Utah producers may be placed at a high and careless level of risk. If you import cattle, be sure to follow the regulations and requirements. If someone else is buying / importing cattle for you, be sure they follow the regulations. Taking short cuts could expose you and others to a serious hazard, besides being illegal.

    It is no longer required that heifers be brucellosis vaccinated to enter Utah or the Utah livestock markets. But you can still have heifer calves vaccinated for brucellosis and that is recommended, especially for producers who are bringing outside animals into their herds. If you are planning to purchase or ship dairy cattle into Utah, contact the Utah Department of Agriculture (801) 538-7160 to learn the specific requirements which apply to the state of origin and the planned source of purchase. A health certificate and an entry permit are required for all cattle entering Utah. A blood test may be required, depending on the state of origin and whether the cattle originate from a dairy farm or marketing channel. The entry permit may be obtained by the veterinarian inspecting the cattle to be shipped, before the health certificate is finalized. The veterinarian should call (801) 538-7164 between 8:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. on work days.