ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) State officials are conducting a study to determine the prevalence and distribution of a bacterium known to cause respiratory disease among domestic sheep and goats.
"The study will help determine if domestic sheep and goats in Alaska may carry M.ovi and present a risk to passing the pathogen to wild sheep and goat populations. Outbreaks of pneumonia have caused severe and drastic population losses in several big horn sheep herds in the western states in the lower 48," according to a release from Alaska Farm Bureau.
The study comes after proposal 90 was tabled in 2016, which would remove domestic sheep and goats from a list of acceptable species in Alaska, and require a permit to keep them within 15 air miles of wild dall sheep habitat.
The proposal is expected to be revisited this fall.
Multiple state agencies are working to address concerns regarding whether or not domestic sheep and goats could transmit pathogens to wild populations.
Local farmers and veterinarians are being asked to participate.
To learn how to get involved, you can check out the Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation's website.