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Dec 20, 2003
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North Central Kansas
Can cattle contract disease from grazing the same ground as buffalo? Do you have to worry about disease in domestic bison? There is a piece of ground up for auction that has had buffalo on it year round for a long time and I was wondering if it was safe.
I have done some research on this and about all I come up with is that there is a concern that brucellosis may be transmitted from buffalo to cattle. However there has never been a proven or ducumented case of this. This is the main reason they kill the buffalo that roam out of Yellowstone Park. I have had a couple buffalo running with my cattle for going on 3 yrs now. I did casterate them both and I have had no problems whatsoever with them. I wouldn't even think twice if your interested in the land it will be just fine for cattle or anything else.
As I recall TB and Brucellosis are the two main diseases that Bison contract and, as the previous poster indicated, that is why the ranchers near the national park borders get pretty upset about Bison that stray onto their ranches (in addition to the Bison eating their winter stockpiled grass and hay ). I've done a fair bit of reading about Bison but I've never read or heard anything to the effect that any spores, etc. from either of those two diseases can become embedded in the ground and then later transmitted to new cattle any more than would be expected in cattle to cattle transmission. Of course Anthrax (and possibly F & M disease) can sometimes afflict cattle and Bison and even after the sick animals are dead and disposed of I'm pretty sure that the ground borne anthrax spores DO present a danger to animals using that ground. But I don't imagine that Anthrax is as likely to be a big concern in Kansas as it is along the Texas-Mexico border. If you getting pretty serious about this potential land purchase it might be a good idea to try to contact some university types in Wyoming, Montana, etc. I think North Dakota State has done a good bit of Bison related research and study. Also, the U. of Nebraska has a pretty good question & answer section on the extension website if you care to try it. And contacting the National Bison Assoc. might be a worthwhile thing to do. Sorry to be of so little help in actually answering your question. Good luck to you, Arnold Ziffle

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