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Wyoming group considers brucellosis hot-zone

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CODY, Wyo. — A Wyoming group that works to control the animal disease brucellosis has mixed opinions about a federal plan to declare the nation brucellosis free except for the greater Yellowstone area.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture is proposing to set up a National Brucellosis Elimination Zone.

Generally, ranchers outside the zone would not have to deal with brucellosis testing while those inside the zone would still be subject to restrictions to control the disease.

Brucellosis is a bacterial disease that can cause pregnant elk, cattle and bison to abort their fetuses.

The livestock industry has eradicated the disease in most of the country, but it persists in Yellowstone's elk and bison herds and is sometimes passed to area livestock.