Volume 5, Number 20 - August 11, 2005
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Brucellosis workshop set for Aug. 16 – 18
More than 50 top researchers from around the globe will identify alternatives to current vaccines during a workshop focusing on brucellosis in bison and elk in the Greater Yellowstone Area scheduled Aug. 16-18 at the University of Wyoming Union ballroom.
UW’s Ruckelshaus Institute will moderate the workshop. Registration for interested members of the public is required by 5 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 10. The United States departments of Agriculture and Interior are providing the funding for the workshop. To register and for more information, visit www.uwyo.edu/enr or call 307-766-5080.
All sessions will be open to the public with opportunity for public comment. A formal meeting for public comment will be held from 1-3 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 18.
In the decades since 1917, when brucellosis was first detected in Yellowstone National Park bison, the disease has been virtually eradicated from the United States. The wild bison and elk in the GYA, however, stand as the nation’s last major reservoir for the bacterium that causes brucellosis, which causes abortions and related reproductive problems in many species of mammals. While no longer a major human health issue in the United States, brucellosis presents a very important public health concern (known as undulant fever) in much of the world.
“Traditional techniques that successfully eradicated the disease in livestock are not as easy to apply in free-ranging wildlife,” said Bret D. Marsh, who serves as chairman of the U.S. Animal Health Association special committee established in 2004 to plan and host the workshop.
Marsh cites three focal points for the meeting: development and testing of safe and effective vaccines for bison and elk, development of new ways to administer the vaccines and improving live-animal diagnostic methods.
By bringing together key individuals from federal, state, academic and private sectors, USAHA hopes to lay the foundation for an overall strategy to eliminate brucellosis from the GYA while maintaining wild and free-ranging wildlife populations, Marsh said.
The Ruckelshaus Institute was created at UW in 1994 to advance effective decision-making on environmental and natural resource issues through research, policy analysis, education and outreach.
The USAHA is a 109-year-old, science-based national organization of state and federal governments, animal industry groups, universities, wildlife health experts and other national organizations that address issues of animal health and disease control, food safety, public health, homeland security and animal welfare.
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