The United States Animal Health Association (USAHA) and the University of Wyoming (UW) announced the availability of the Laramie Agenda that addresses brucellosis in free ranging elk and bison. The document is based on the findings of a three-day working symposium held at UW in August 16-18. The invited scientific experts at the working symposium addressed the research needs for vaccines, vaccine delivery systems and diagnostic tools for use in battling brucellosis.
The nation is at a crossroads regarding brucellosis, says USAHA immediate past president Rick Willer, who appointed the special committee that planned the working symposium.
"We have to make an investment in research for better tools to successfully address this disease in elk and bison," Willer says.
Current USAHA President Bret Marsh, chair of the special committee appointed by Willer, says that "although the decision is difficult, the choice is clear. USAHA firmly believes we can eliminate this disease providing we make the investment in the needed research now."
UWs vice president for research and economic development, William Gern, announced the university's commitment to help form a consortium of federal, state, university and private researchers to oversee and coordinate the 10-year research agenda.
"We have to ensure that the research is coordinated to guarantee productivity and deliverables," Gern says. "We believe the University of Wyoming is in an ideal position to take the lead in establishing the consortium since Wyoming is perhaps the state most impacted by brucellosis in wildlife."
The last remaining reservoir of brucellosis is elk and bison in the Greater Yellowstone Area (GYA). Brucellosis can spill over to cattle from infected elk and bison resulting in a significant economic impact on the cattle industry in the states surrounding the GYA, as has been seen in Wyoming and Idaho. It can also have an impact on the nation's cattle industry as a whole due to international marketing restrictions. To access the technical report and Laramie Agenda, see www.USAHA.org/pubs/.
For more information go to: (www.uwyo.edu/enr/ienr/Projects/BrucellosisSymposium.asp).
-- Clint Peck