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Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks reminds hunters to return blood samples from harvested elk for brucellosis testing from key areas including the Madison, Paradise and Shields valleys and other nearby areas.

Hunters who have received elk blood sample tests are urged to please carefully follow the instructions included with the kit and return it immediately.

Brucellosis is a contagious bacterial infection in domestic animals, wildlife and humans worldwide. In Montana, it has only been detected in elk, bison and in cattle near Yellowstone National Park and cattle near Bridger. Brucellosis can cause pregnant cattle, bison and elk to abort their calves.

Since 1981, FWP tested nearly 7,000 elk for brucellosis exposure, mostly in the Greater Yellowstone Area north and west of the park. The results of those tests show brucellosis exposure rates that range from 0 to 5.5 percent.

For more information on Montana's brucellosis surveillance, contact the FWP wildlife laboratory at 406-994-6357.

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