Brucellosis Update: Rule Change For Big Horn County

If you missed the meeting on Tuesday, here is what was discussed regarding the proposed rule change that will make brucellosis vaccination (aka “bangs vaccination”) mandatory in Big Horn County, MT. 

The rule basically requires that female cattle 1 year and over be bangs vaccinates. 

As the state vet pointed out during the meeting, almost every producer already bangs vaccinates their replacement heifers. They are vaccinated as calves between the ages of 4 months and 12 months old.  

If there are cows over the age of 1 year old that have not been bangs vaccinated, they will need to be vaccinated as adults. Cows vaccinated as adults will receive a silver tag instead of the standard orange tag. Also, they must be vaccinated when they are NOT pregnant of course.

The reason for the rule change is due to the migration pattern of brucellosis positive elk from Big Horn County, Wyoming. This is a surveillance area that is just to the south of our county. Elk have been seen moving into areas of our county in early spring. Luckily, there don’t tend to be many cattle present in this particular area at this time of year. The Crow tribe does have buffalo in this area, and they are working with the state vet to vaccinate their buffalo that might be exposed. 

The rule will be enforced during change of ownership. So basically, any female over the age of 1 year old will need to be checked for bangs tattoo and tag before she can be sold. This rule will not affect calves less than 1 year old going for feeding. 

If you have any comments, this rule change is open for comments until this Friday at 5 pm.