USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service has issued a draft policy statement to allow researchers to conduct brucellosis studies in large animals in outdoor settings.
The ability to conduct outdoor research involving cattle, bison, elk and swine will help APHIS gain important tools and information to continue with brucellosis eradication, the agency stated.
Endemic Brucella abortus is expanding its range in the Greater Yellowstone area, and Brucella suis is being found in more feral swine populations throughout the various areas of the U.S., according to the agency.
“This expansion emphasizes a critical need for both improved diagnostics and vaccine development related to wildlife,” the agency said.
Traditional studies will not work for wildlife species, but this draft policy provides an outline for safely conducting outdoor studies. The information gathered in these studies will help both wildlife managers and livestock producers while still addressing the need to handle Brucella according to select agent requirements,