By Elsa Partan
Laramie, Wyo. – Laboratory tests in Montana point to elk as the source of a brucellosis infection in cattle.
In Wyoming, the Game and Fish Department has several programs to get rid of the livestock disease in elk herds, but progress is slow.
Spokesman Eric Keszler says existing vaccines are ineffective, but the state is forbidden from researching better ones.
"Brucellosis has been identified as a select agent, which means an agent that could be potentially used as a terrorist threat," he explained.
"So there's restrictions on who can do research on vaccines," he said.
Keszler says one promising study uses a device to track exactly where and when a cow elk aborts, which will help biologists predict where the disease might spread.